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Industry News

CFTC Wants Energy Price Data from Publisher

LCG, May 20, 2003--An order from a federal judge is being sought by the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission in connection with subpoenas issued to Platts, a division of publisher McGraw-Hill, for documents concerning reported natural gas trades.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found evidence of "epidemic false reporting" among large traders of natural gas, including El Paso Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Williams Cos Inc., the agency said in March. A judge for the U.S. District Court in Houston will preside over a hearing on June 2 to determine whether Platts should be forced to provide the documents which could show the trade data as reported by the companies.

"McGraw-Hill claims that it is cooperating with government regulators. Unfortunately, its definition of cooperation falls far short of the meaning of cooperation," Gregory Mocek, who directs the CFTC's enforcement division, said. Price indexes published by Platts and other sources are used in countless gas contracts to determine the settlement terms.

Fines of approximately $25 million overall have been issued by the CFTC to Dynegy Marketing and Trade, West Coast Power LLC and El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P. after the CFTC determined that trade data the companies submitted to Platts had been falsified.
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