An antitrust class action lawsuit charging subsidiaries of Sempra Energy with conspiring to prevent competition during California’s energy crisis in 2000 – 2001 is to go ahead.

The $24 billion suit alleges that the utility’s subsidiaries conspired with El Paso Corp to prevent competition from cheap Canadian gas during California’s energy crisis.

Sempra has denied the allegations, calling them unfounded.

El Paso agreed to pay $1.7 billion in December 2003 to settle the charges and other issues related to the energy crisis.