El Paso Corp. (ticker: EP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
El Paso Corporation Announces Settlement of Pending Litigation with State of Arizona
HOUSTON, TEXAS, December 18, 2004—El Paso Corporation (NYSE:EP) announced today that it has reached a settlement, which has received final approval from the Maricopa County Superior Court, with the state of Arizona over the state's pending litigation from the western energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.
As part of the settlement, El Paso will provide grants totaling approximately $3.4 million for various programs in Arizona. Included is funding for the state's Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, which is designed to provide targeted assistance to low-income Arizonans confronting high energy prices; a grant for "Energy for Arizona in the 21st Century," a study conducted by an independent organization selected by El Paso and the state to analyze ways to diversify Arizona's energy supply portfolio and reduce its reliance on any one gas supply basin; and funding for an emergency preparedness/consequence management training and assistance program.
The settlement also includes El Paso investing approximately $43 million for capital projects designed to improve interstate pipeline service in Arizona and conserve water in the state. El Paso also agrees to accelerate $30 million in already-planned pipeline integrity expenditures. El Paso will seek recovery of these capital and pipeline integrity program expenses in its FERC-approved rates.
"This settlement not only allows the company to eliminate the uncertainty of pending litigation but also fosters a new and positive relationship with the state of Arizona and its people," said James Cleary, president of El Paso's Western Pipeline Group. "El Paso has delivered natural gas to its Arizona customers for more than 50 years, and the settlement bodes well for a mutually beneficial relationship with Arizona into the 21st century."
El Paso Corporation provides natural gas and related energy products in a safe, efficient, dependable manner. The company owns North America's largest natural gas pipeline system and one of North America's largest independent natural gas producers. For more information, visit www.elpaso.com.
This release includes forward-looking statements and projections, made in reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and assumptions on which these statements and projections are based are current, reasonable, and complete. However, a variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release, including, without limitation, the ability to implement and achieve our objectives in the long-range plan, including achieving our debt-reduction targets; the uncertainties associated with governmental regulation; and other factors described in the company's (and its affiliates') Securities and Exchange Commission filings. While the company makes these statements and projections in good faith, neither the company nor its management can guarantee that anticipated future results will be achieved. Reference must be made to those filings for additional important factors that may affect actual results. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or any other forward-looking statements made by the company, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.