Sempra Energy filed suit against the California Public Utilities Commission in Federal District Court to invalidate subpoenas the commission has been seeking as part of its investigation into price spikes of natural gas delivered along the California-Mexico border during the energy crisis. Sempra?s complaint filed last week asserts that the CPUC?s subpoenas are beyond its authority and preempted by the Federal Power Act and the Commerce Clause. In November 2002, state regulators launched an investigation into the price spikes linked to gas delivered at the border between March 2000 and May 2001. Prodded by Southern California Edison, the commission sought a wide range of documents related to trades?from prices to reporting. Sempra argued the material at issue dealt with interstate commerce and thus was off-limits to the CPUC. An administrative law judge upheld the state?s subpoena authority but found some of the data requests overly broad. Edison subsequently sought to speed up the document review process and insisted Sempra hire more attorneys to restore and review thousands of e-mails. On September 20, an administrative law judge ruled that the company should review 12,000 e-mails a week and must provide a written explanation if it fails to meet that task. In its complaint, Sempra asked the court to prohibit state regulators from ordering it to produce documents and to enjoin them from considering materials produced. The company also seeks recovery of its attorney fees expended to produce the documents at issue. According to Sempra, it has spent $1.4 million on lawyers and anticipates that further compliance would cost it $500,000 a month.