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Thursday, Jan 26, 2023
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State Sues Sempra

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has sued Sempra Energy Trading, alleging the Sempra subsidiary manipulated wholesale electricity prices during the 2000-01 energy crisis.

The suit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, alleges that the company used Enron-like tactics to boost its profits.

Lockyer said the damages and penalties could total hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sempra Energy, the region’s largest energy provider, is in the midst of arguing a $23 billion class-action suit before a San Diego jury.

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W. Davis Smith, Sempra’s associate general counsel, said in a release that the timing of Lockyer’s suit was “highly inappropriate.”

Settlement talks have been ongoing with the state related to the class-action suit, Smith said, trying to resolve energy crisis-related issues.

“Officials in the attorney general’s office repeatedly have threatened that, if our company did not agree to the state’s terms, the attorney general would file lawsuits against us and today delivered on these threats,” Smith said, “filing a meritless lawsuit against our Sempra Commodities unit.”

, Rob Davis

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