From its new corporate headquarters in San Diego, officials ofthe newly merged $6.2 billion Sempra Energy yesterday stronglypromoted their goal of expanding both utility and nonutilitybusinesses throughout the U.S. in the next 10 years as energyrestructuring spreads from state to state. It plans both highprofile marketing/branding and political campaigns to further itsgoal of being “one of the top five energy services companies inNorth America.”

This will include pushing for PUHCA reform in Congress andstrongly backing a business-labor coalition to defeat a statewideCalifornia ballot initiative that would undo a significant part ofthe state electric restructuring law.

CEO Dick Farman emphasized that Sempra’s growth will cover bothgas and electricity-at both the retail and wholesale levels. Forexample, Sempra will look for opportunities to buy power, existingpower plants or develop new plants. In addition, it will pursueadditional gas or electric utility properties around the country.

While Farman emphasized growth in all areas, including selectiveforeign projects in Mexico and South America, he did not rule outselling assets that are not providing adequate earnings.

Sempra’s principal business centered on its twoutilities-Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas and Electric.

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