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Attorney General Demands Reliant Energy Records for Probe of Possible Price-Gouging, Anti-Competitive Behavior Affecting Electricity Prices

Also Demands Energy Records From the Mirant Corporation
Thursday, April 19, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today demanded that Reliant Energy and the Mirant Corporation produce documents subpoenaed in the California Department of Justice investigation of possibly unlawful or anti-competitive behavior affecting soaring electricity prices in the state.

"There must be a short-circuit here because Reliant is claiming cooperation with our investigation while refusing to turn over documents," Lockyer said.

The Attorney General asked the San Francisco Superior Court to order Reliant and Mirant to produce subpoenaed documents that were due March 19. The Attorney General told the court that both power companies have failed to furnish documents despite being given assurances on the confidentiality of their sensitive and proprietary information.

"Reliant's sole basis for refusing to produce confidential information is its claim that the Attorney General may not share such information with other governmental agencies that the Attorney General may enlist to aid him in his investigation," the Attorney General stated in the complaint. "The argument simply lacks merit."

"Reliant has sufficient guarantees regarding the confidentiality of its information," the complaint said. "The Attorney General has stated that he will not share confidential data with governmental agencies which have acted as Reliant's competitors in the market or agencies with whom Reliant is negotiating energy contracts. Disclosure of confidential information by any subordinate officer is a misdemeanor and punishable by that officer being disqualified from acting in any official capacity in the department. Any government agency receiving information from the Attorney General to aid him in his investigation would be bound by the same requirement."

Similar arguments were made in seeking subpoenaed documents from power company Mirant.

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