California Gov. Gray Davis continues to make good on his promise to investigate alleged shady business practices linked to the power outages his state endured in 2001 as a federal grand jury investigating the energy crisis has subpoenaed records from two power companies accused of driving up prices during that time period. Duke Energy and AES/Williams, both named in a report by the state Public Utilities Commission as participants in a scheme to inflate energy prices during the crisis, received subpoenas from federal prosecutors last week and have agreed to cooperate.
California owes tens of billions of dollars for power it bought when prices rose in the summer of 2001 and hopes to convince federal energy regulators to order energy sellers to refund $9 billion in alleged overcharges. The five companies named in the CPUC’s report – Duke, AES/Williams, Dynergy, Mirant, and reliant – have all denied withholding energy or failing to operate their plants at full capacity, as the report claims.