The federal district court in Southern California dismissed seven class actions filed against Duke Energy for alleged illegal gaming of the market during the 2000-01 energy debacle. Duke was pleased the court ruled in its favor. ?Duke Energy has said all along that FERC is the only appropriate forum for hearing disputes over the prices charged for electricity,? said Pat Mullen, Duke spokesperson. Judge Robert Whaley ruled August 27 that both the Federal Power Act and filed rate doctrine preempted claims seeking refunds under state law. Whaley rejected the plaintiffs claims that the ancillary trades at issue were protected by the California Business and Professions Code section 17200 because they were intrastate sales. Power plants that produced the energy that stayed inside California was sent over the grid, which is regulated by the federal government, he stated. Thus, the actions were interstate and regulated solely by federal law. In addition, ?The filed rate doctrine bars all claims?state and federal?that attempt to challenge a rate that a federal agency has reviewed and filed,? his decision states.