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About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced Oregon will receive $3.25 million in a settlement terms with the Charlotte-based company, Duke Energy. The multi-million settlement is the third such agreement resulting from investigations into the 2000-2001 Western energy crisis. Duke Energy was one of the companies being investigated by the Attorneys General of Oregon, California and Washington.
The settlement resolves claims of market manipulation originating from the extraordinary increases in the price of wholesale power during the summer, fall and spring of 2000 and 2001. Specific allegations accused Duke Energy of artificially inflating energy prices by creating false outages at its power plants.
"Today's settlement is more good news for Oregon consumers," Myers said. "We can never right all the wrongs of the energy market debacle, but we can take steps to ensure it never happens again."
As with the two previous settlements with Williams Companies and El Paso Corp., the settlement proceeds will go to the Oregon Department of Justice and will be used for the benefit of energy consumers.
The Oregon Department of Justice has received over $35 million in settlement proceeds as a result of the ongoing investigation of the manipulation of the western states energy market. Already, proceeds from similar agreements have resulted in funding of programs dedicated to bill paying assistance, school weatherization, and direct refunds to Oregon ratepayers.
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