02/21/2013 03:15 EST | Updated 04/23/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. vows to continue to fight U.S. ruling on power sales to California

VICTORIA - British Columbia's Energy Minister Rich Coleman says the province will continue to fight a California court ruling that found a BC Hydro subsidiary gouged the state for hydro during an energy shortage more than a decade ago.

Coleman says he expects the legal fight to continue for years through the U.S. court system.

A U.S. judge has ruled that California could recoup up to $1.6 billion from a dozen power companies — including BC Hydro subsidiary Powerex — for overcharging during energy shortages in the summer of 2000.

California launched a multibillion-dollar lawsuit alleging the companies fixed the high prices, but Coleman says there was no hanky-panky on the part of Powerex.

Coleman says there are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake for B.C.

Opposition energy critic John Horgan, whose New Democrats were in government when the energy was sold to California, says there was no price fixing with the power sold to California.