"An Alaska state authority charged that BP PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil companies, are conspiring to withhold natural gas from U.S. markets and reinforce their market power over North Slope supplies. In an antitrust suit filed late yesterday in federal court in Fairbanks, the Alaska Gasline Port Authority alleged that a series of illegal agreements and acquisitions by the companies has choked the flow of the state's vast gas reserves. It seeks to stop the companies' alleged collusion through a court injunction and unspecified damages...The dispute comes at a time when U.S. natural-gas prices are soaring....The Alaska Gasline Port Authority said that BP's refusal to agree to ship its natural gas and Exxon Mobil's failure to develop its huge fields amounts to 'warehousing' a desperately needed resource in an effort to drive up prices. 'Gas prices are at record highs, and big oil companies still won't move the gas to market,' authority Chairman Jim Whitaker said in a statement."
- Wall Street Journal, 12/20/05
"Electricity rates for more than two-thirds of Southern California Edison's customers will rise as much as 18% in the new year, the company said Tuesday...The utility said the first increase, to take effect Jan. 1, would stem in part from higher natural gas prices...Natural gas prices, the key force behind two of the three Edison rate increases, are expected to push up electricity and heating bills across the state."
- Los Angeles Times, 12/21/05