California's attorney general and other branches of state government separately filed objections Thursday to the Sempra Energy settlement announced last week. The AG, Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Electricity Oversight Board each filed complaints with San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager, who is hearing a major class action lawsuit against Sempra that last week's agreement has halted (see Daily GPI, Jan. 6).
AG Bill Lockyer focused his complaints against the settlement agreement, which allegedly releases Sempra from all pending and potential claims in the courts and before regulatory agencies, the AG spokesperson said. Lockyer argued the agreement and proposed notices to plaintiff class members "do not make it sufficiently clear" that the state's refund claim and pending litigation (over Sempra's long-term DWR contract, Sempra companies' behavior in the natural gas market in 2000-2001, and its wholesale electric market behavior) would not be eliminated. Lockyer hopes to keep those pending cases very much alive.
The AG asked the Superior Court judge to make sure that class members in the lawsuits are "actually and clearly" told in the proposed notices which legal actions Sempra is settling and which ones it is not.
With less than 24 hours to file their objections, the other parties -- DWR, EOB, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co. -- also voiced opposition to the proposed public notice to class members in the lawsuits.
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