An issue for Sempra Energy has been brewing south of the border, rather quietly. What is unknown is the impact the issue might have on the alleged need for SDG&E'a Sunrise Powerlink project.

Sempra LNG has been running into judicial problems with its Energia Costa Azul unit. Sempra LNG has been ordered to stop work at the Costa Azul facility in a June court order filed in Ensenada, Baja California. Allegations include the lack of an environmental impact report to Mexican standards and stories of local residents being chased off their own property through alleged deed misdeeds.

People north of the border along the Sunrise Powerlink route and who are now subject to imminent SDG&E eminent domain proceedings could probably relate.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Sempra Energy is claiming that a Mexican appeals court has overturned the stop work order, but this report is in dispute. Also, a July 6 hearing has been set in Mexico regarding Sempra LNG's Costa Azul operating permit, leaving the entire Sempra LNG operation questionable until then.

Although not getting much previous attention, SDG&E did previously cite Mexican power grid access as one advantage of having the near-border Sunrise Powerlink overhead power lines available as a hookup.

Standard Newswire: Sempra, Continues to Misinform the Public with Regard To Dispute over Court Order Relating To Closure of Its Mexican LNG Unit, Energia Costa Azul, States Landowner

Bloomberg Businessweek: Court revokes suspension of Sempra LNG terminal

On the good news side of the ledger, Sempra Energy was named as one of the top 100 best corporate citizens at Corporate Responsibility Magazine. Sempra Energy came in at 61 on the list, far below PG&E Corporation placing at 25. Apparently, Sempra Energy lost points for not having a misleading constitutional amendment on California's June primary ballot. On the other hand, Sempra Energy was wise enough not to flush $30+ million in shareholder equity down the political primary toilet to lose an electoral bet on Proposition 16, either.

CR’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2010


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