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Lockyer Suit Shows Anti-Consumer Behavior of Market Players

Santa Monica, CA -- California Attorney General Bill Lockyer today filed suit against four major power companies and their subsidiaries, alleging that the firms re-sold, for a profit, power that belonged to the California Independent System Operator (ISO), the non-profit agency that manages the state's electricity grid. Mirant, Dynegy, Williams, and Reliant, according to Lockyer's brief, ignored their legal, contractual duties to provide reserve power when they sold on the lucrative spot market power that had been purchased by the ISO.

"The huge potential for gouging in the deregulated market created the incentive for these companies to disregard their contractual obligations," said Joe Newlin, consumer advocate with Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). "The power companies saw deregulation as a license to steal, but the companies must be held accountable for robbing us blind. "

FTCR has issued a report, HOAX: How Deregulation Let the Power Industry Steal $71 Billion From California, which can be downloaded at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp/rp002193.pdf.

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