JPMorgan Chase paying $410 million to settle energy case
WASHINGTON JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $410 million on Tuesday to settle accusations by U.S. energy regulators that it manipulated electricity prices. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the bank used improper bidding strategies to squeeze excessive payments from the agencies that run the power grids in California and the Midwest. The improper conduct occurred between September 2010 and November 2012, FERC said. JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, is paying a civil penalty of $285 million and returning $125 million in allegedly improper profits. FERC said its investigation had found improper trading practices were used at Houston-based JPMorgan Ventures Energy Corp. New York-based JPMorgan said in a written statement that it’s “pleased to have reached an agreement with FERC to put this matter behind it.” JPMorgan didn’t admit or deny any violations.
Crackdown on big, sugary sodas ruled unconstitutional
NEW YORK New York City’s crackdown on big, sugary sodas is staying on ice. An appeals court ruled Tuesday that the city’s Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants. In a unanimous opinion, the four-judge panel of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division said that the health board was acting too much like a legislature when it created the limit, which would have stopped sales of non-diet soda and other sugar-laden beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces. The judges wrote that while the board had the power to ban “inherently harmful” foodstuffs from being served to the public, sweetened beverages didn’t fall into that category. They also said the board appeared to have crafted much of the new rules based on political or economic considerations, rather than health concerns. The city’s law department promised a quick appeal.
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Horse slaughterhouse damaged by ‘suspicious’ fire
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. The owner of a southeastern New Mexico company that plans to begin slaughtering horses next week says his plant was hit by arson over the weekend. Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos says someone apparently jumped the fence and poured accelerant over the compressors to his refrigeration unit on Saturday night. Chaves County officials say they are investigating the blaze, which they called “very suspicious.” De Los Santos says his company has been the target of many threats as news has spread of its plans to resume domestic horse slaughter. He says his company will be unable to open as planned Monday without a working refrigeration unit. The Roswell company also goes to federal court Friday to fight attempts by animal rights groups seeking to block its opening.
The Associated Press contributed.