Brandon Hernández 9 a.m., Dec. 5
In this morning's daily San Diego paper, it was finally revealed that Sempra Energy may actually sell off its share of RBS Sempra Commodities, that globe-spanning $3 billion limited liability company with possible ties to the Dubai end of the conflict gold smuggling route originating out of the Congo (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/25/60minutes/main5774127.shtml).
I'm no market expert, but Sempra Energy selling off anything that has anything to do with a $300 million a year conduit in unregulated golden nuggets means to me that (1) Sempra Energy's 2000 statement to investors about seeking earnings from more and more unregulated businesses needs significant clarification or (2) Sempra Energy has identified looming cash needs that go far beyond hiring another hanky-spanky lobbyist in Sacramento (http://eghvsdge.stickywebs.com/sempra/Sempra2000.pdf and http://www.ucan.org/energy/electricity/utility_lobbyists_will_do_anything_including_mike_duval_vice_chair_california_assembly_utilities_committee).
According to MarketWatch, RBS Sempra Commodities accounted for $85 million out of Sempra Energy's $200 million in quarterly profit for Q2. This morning, our local newspaper gave the most recent quarter's earnings for Q3 as $105 million from RBS Sempra Commodities to Sempra Energy's total earnings of $315 million.
According to Onell Soto's Union-Tribune article, local power franchise holder SDG&E contributed $107 million to Sempra Energy's Q3 earnings by comparison (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/dec/10/sempra-bank-sell-joint-venture/).