A federal court has dismissed a $600 million complaint against several natural gas suppliers brought by Reno-based Sierra Pacific Resources, the holding company for Nevada’s two major private-sector electric utilities, according to an announcement by Sierra Pacific Wednesday. The company said in a subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it is reviewing the court decision and its options for further action, if any.
The holding company and its Las Vegas, NV-based utility, Nevada Power Co., filed the lawsuit last April, alleging that Sempra Energy, El Paso Corp., Enron Corp. and Dynegy Inc. allegedly conspired to drive up wholesale natural gas prices. The filing was made in the federal district court in Las Vegas.
The accused companies and their subsidiaries allegedly conspired to “decrease competition” by restricting the amount of interstate pipeline capacity and supplies to Nevada Power, Sierra Pacific said. According to news reports, Enron was named as a “co-conspirator” but could not be made a party to the now-dismissed lawsuit due to the Houston-based company’s protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, for which it filed more than two years ago.
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