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Natural Gas Prices Manipulated, Trader Says

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A former employee of a natural gas trade journal says daily lists of gas prices were manipulated to boost prices.

Michele Markey, formerly with the trade journal Gas Daily, is telling state lawmakers that natural gas indices relied on unchecked and self-reported information from natural gas companies.

Markey is being granted immunity for her testimony. She´s talking with the state Senate Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation of the Wholesale Energy Market.

The committee is probing the cause of California´s energy crisis. During 2000 and 2001, extremely high gas prices were blamed in part for a spike in electricity costs.

Markey says some gas trades are purposely exaggerated or prices are stretched. She says it was common industry knowledge that exaggeration was an acceptable practice.