Court upholds California energy crisis manipulation findings

Markets Associated Press

A federal appeals court has upheld an energy commission's finding that power companies manipulated prices during California's energy crisis more than a decade ago.

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The ruling Thursday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could add more than $200 million to the billions that California has recovered from energy sellers in connection with the crisis.

Energy shortages plunged parts of California into blackout in 2000 and 2001. The state bought billions of dollars' worth of electricity to keep the lights on.

At issue in Thursday's ruling was the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's determination that Shell Energy North America and several other companies violated laws, raising energy prices.

The 9th Circuit said the commission didn't abuse its discretion in making that ruling.

A call to Shell wasn't immediately returned.