CA Senate Committee Votes to Up Fines For False Gas Price Reporting
LCG, April 10, 2003The Energy Committee of the California Senate voted to increase false gas price reporting penalties by ten times.
Senator Joseph Dunn of Santa Ana brought forth the bill, Senate Bill 137, which sets the maximum penalty for using false data to make natural gas price indices at $25,000, up from the previous fine of $2,500. The bill also allows state regulators more authority to oversee indices.
The bill passed the committee vote 7 to 2 and now will face a second vote with the California Senate Judiciary Committee.
Several companies have reported that their employees had provided trumped up gas prices to industry periodicals last year, leading to unrealistic gas price indices. Dunns bill aims to give the California Public Utilities Commission greater ability to prevent inaccurate indices and allows the commission to set its own prices if no reliable prices are found.
According to the bill, purchase and sale reports comprising a published index will be time-stamped to the minute and will be required to include price, volume, delivery point, duration, date and time of transaction, and counterparty.
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