Natural gas supplier sues California utility over unpaid bill : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Natural gas supplier sues California utility over unpaid bill

Wednesday, February 7, 2001


DENVER -- Western Gas Resources Inc. has sued California's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, over more than $2 million in unpaid natural gas bills.

Western Gas alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court that PG&E has been in default of a long-term contract for the past month and it stands to lose more than $2.2 million. Western said PG&E has failed to pay for deliveries since Jan. 9.

A PG&E spokeswoman disputed the claim Wednesday.

"The utility has paid all gas suppliers on time," said Staci Homrig. "Western wanted cash on delivery. We weren't able to accommodate that. We will pay for the January gas on Feb. 25, as we would normally do."

Western Gas has been under an emergency order from the Energy Department to continue supplying natural gas to PG&E.

Lanny Outlaw, Western's chief executive, said his company has complied with the emergency order, but will "vigorously act to recover any losses and protect our numerous stakeholders."

"We have difficulty understanding how our company, our employees in Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma and our shareholders can be expected to bear any loss as a result of these orders," Outlaw said in a statement.

PG&E announced last week that it plans to pay its suppliers about 15 percent of the $1 billion it owes them. In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the utility said it has defaulted on $726 million of short-term debt.|ss=natural+gas;

-- Martin Thompson (, February 07, 2001

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