press conference held at outside Flagstaff City Hall on 4/5/2002,
Black Mesa Trust (BMT)
responded to a recent resolution by Hopi Tribal Council
to work with Houston based Reliant Energy on a joint coal powered
energy plant to be built on Black Mesa.
Vernon Masayesva, BMT Executive Director and former Hopi Tribal
Chairman, alleged that the Hopi Tribal Council passed the resolution
without full knowledge of Hopi tribe members and that the council may
have "have violated procurement procedures by agreeing to work with
one company." The resolution was passed after the Council suspended its
own procedural rules and considered the matter during a session scheduled
to be devoted to hearing reports from various Hopi task teams.
Stating that there are many other energy companies who would want to
submit a proposal to develop energy resources on Hopi land, especially
those utilizing renewable energy sources, Masayesva wondered, "Why
Reliant... was selected has not been explained to the
"I am beginning to believe
that the Bush-Cheney national energy policy is focused on Indian lands
and that they are going to continue siting hazardous materials dumps
and pollution-generating coal-fired power plants on our homelands,"
stated BMT President Leonard Selestewa.
Reliant Company Donations and Information
According to the website
opensecrets.org, Reliant Energy
donated 0,000 to the Bush-Cheney
2001 Presidential Inauguration. In addition, Reliant rated
the 12th top Electric Utilities contributor during the 2002 election cycle with donations totalling 3,581
of which 72% was given to the Republican Party.
Also found at the opensecret's site
is an article on
the campaign behind the Bush Energy Plan. According to that article
Reliant donated 4,606 to The American Taxpayers Alliance, a group
headed by former Bush and Dole campaign advisor Scott Reed.
As mentioned in a previous article on Arizona IMC's website,
Thomas Glanville, president of Reliant Energy Ventures for Reliant Resources,
Inc. and vice president of technology and new ventures for its parent
company, Reliant Energy, Incorporated, had previously worked for
between 1991 and 1998. According to the
(According to the
during this timeframe Enron acquired their first pipeline presence
in South America and began construction of the controversial
Dabhol power plant in India).
In addition, a Reliant press
release issued on 3/4/2002 announces the promotion of William S.
Waller Jr. to Treasurer of Reliant Resources. Previously, Mr. Waller had
"worked at the International Finance Corporation, which is the private
sector arm of the World Bank, in Washington D.C., with a focus on
financing the construction of power plants in developing countries."
(Information on the IMF and World Bank can be found at ZNet's
Q&A on the WTO, IMF, World Bank, and Activism).
Given these connections to the World Bank, Enron, and the Bush/Cheney
Energy Commission and the history of Black Mesa, it is no wonder that
Mr. Masayesva stated at the conference, "What we have here is the making of an
energy-industrial-tribal complex, just like the military-industrial
complex of the 1950s."
"Off Balance Sheet Reporting"
Further investigations of past Reliant business practices include alleged
double selling of power in California, profiting from price spikes during
a trial period of energy deregulation in Texas, and SEC inquiries into
possible earnings reporting inconsistencies. In addition, due to the
current shakiness of energy company shares due to the Enron fallout, the
future of Reliant may belong in the hands of European companies.
Information detailing these issues are below:
In a Yahoo News article titled,
"Calif. AG sues four firms for
double-selling power," published 3/11/2002, CA Attorney General, Bill
Lockyer, named Reliant as one of four energy generators that allegedly
sold CA emergency electricity that was never provided.
According to Lockyer, "These companies fattened their wallets at the
expense of the safety and reliability of the transmission system
The lawsuits, which seek more than 0 million in penalties,
restitution and return profits, allege that the four firms double-sold
power beginning in 1998 through the state's power crisis last year. In
addition, Lockyer alleges that the firms racked up millions of dollars
in profits for emergency generating capacity that was never provided.
According to that article, "The action comes as the attorney general is
also targeting a number of power generators for alleged price gouging
during the state's electricity crisis last year. That power crisis
pushed PG&E Corp.'s (California's biggest utility) into bankruptcy
protection and caused rolling blackouts for tens of thousands of
According to a Yahoo News article titled,
"Texas Energy Companies
May Have Profited From Price Spikes," published 3/26/2002, the Public
Exchange Commission is investigating five Texas based energy companies
of price overcharges of up to 43 million dollars that occurred during
a pilot program deregulation in that state. Reliant Energy is one of
the companies under investigation.
- From a Dow Jones article titled
Reliant Resources Cooperating With Informal Inquiry: (4/5/2002)
The Securities and Exchance Commission (SEC) is informally inquiring
into Reliant's restatement of second and third quarter earnings. According
to the article:
On Feb. 5 , the company said the restatement would increase earnings
for the second and third quarters by 0 million to 0 million, as
it recognized profits in 2001 that it had expected to record in 2002
and 2003. The restatment stemmed from a reassessment of how the company
accounted for derivative instruments.
In a Reuters article published 3/30/2002 titled,
Consolidation at Crossroads,"
Reliant is mentioned as a utilities company who's share values have
dropped sharply and so tops a list of potential takeover targets. "Wall
Street bankers say companies like these are being closely studied by
utilities like Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Resources and a number
of European players."