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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

If You Can't Fuck 'Em, FERC 'Em 

Courtesy of Zemblan patriot K.Z.: They know we like it when they talk dirty to us, because they keep on doing it:
The Department of Justice reportedly has thousands of hours of Enron employees recorded during the West Coast power crisis. Now, some in Congress want all the tapes released.

"I want to make sure that no federal agency suppresses this information, makes the case harder for us to get relief," says U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash . . . .

In one tape, an employee says, "You gotta think the economy is going to fucking get crushed, man. This is like a recession waiting to fucking happen."

The tapes show Enron tried to bring California to its knees.

Elsewhere on the tapes, another employee says, "This is where California breaks."

"Yeah, it sure does man," says another.

And they proposed to do that by exporting energy out of the state so the company could drive up prices even more.

"What we need to do is to help in the cause of, ah, downfall of California," an employee is heard saying on the tapes. "You guys need to pull your megawatts out of California on a daily basis."

"They're on the ropes today," says another employee. "I exported like a fucking 400 megs."

"Wow,'' says another employee, "fuck 'em, right!" . . . .

The tapes could affect dozens of cases already filed against the company by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

"If these are ever heard by a jury, they're going get strung up," says Lockyer.

After hearing the tapes, the state's two U.S. senators demanded an immediate $8.9 billion refund . . . .

With Enron and other major energy companies in bankruptcy, big refunds are unlikely. But the tapes could provide the evidence states and cities need to break contracts they were forced to sign at the height of the energy crisis.
That manufactured crisis, and the contracts California was forced to sign in order to keep the lights on, are in large part responsible for the state's budget woes. And those budget woes were in large part responsible for the recall election that replaced Democrat Gray Davis with the fellow below, who despite his campaign promises has attacked the deficit in textbook Republican fashion -- by slashing funds for education and social services:
About two dozen of the more than one million Enron emails dealing with California's energy crisis, recently released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), appear to make a strong case that the one-time high-flying energy company had some role in influencing the FERC decision three years ago—a major blow to California consumers and two of the state's investor-owned utilities that were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Utilities in California lost billions of dollars buying high-cost power on the wholesale market and selling it at a loss under a state mandated rate freeze.

The issue is of particular importance now because California's newly elected Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has indicated through aides that he would try to quickly settle a number of the lawsuits the state has pending before FERC and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, many of which name Enron as a defendant.

Governor-elect Schwarzenegger secretly met with Ken Lay at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills in May 2001 to listen to Lay pitch solutions for the state's energy crisis. During the recall campaign, Bill Forman, the news editor at the Sacramento News & Review asked Schwarzenegger about the meeting. Schwarzenegger said he didn't recall meeting Ken Lay because there were more than 30 people in the room. If Schwarzenegger plans to fix the state's budget he better brush up on his basic math skills. According to a list of attendees uncovered by the consumer group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, there were 13 people at the meeting, including Schwarzengger.

Moreover, Schwarzenegger met privately with Lay and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan for about 15 minutes to discuss ways Schwarzenegger and Riordan could help solve the state's power crisis, according to one of Riordan's former deputies, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he still works with Riordan. Riordan has been named to Schwarzenegger's transition team.
Draw your own conclusions. Need I mention that the top management of Enron -- the company that was, until recently, George Bush's #1 lifetime campaign donor -- remains at large?

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