- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by A. W. Ash
Wednesday, May. 08, 2002 at 4:24 PM
Probably no one reading the LA-IMC newswire will be surprised by this -- but here's (some of) the proof that last year's California Energy Crisis was thoroughly manipulated by the unregulated, parasitic energy corporations. A similar story was on the front page of today's (5-7-02) LA Times and the New York Times also had a lead article on the matter. Sorry for re-posting corporate media here, but I think it's important for this to be accessible on the LA-IMC newswire for posterity's sake. BTW, Pacifica Radio's Democracy NOW! had an excellent segment this morning about this as well.
Memo Describes Enron Role in California Energy Crisis
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Enron Corp. drove up electricity prices during California's energy crisis, using names like "Death Star" and "Ricochet" to describe strategies that aimed to cash in on the power shortage, company documents show.
A memorandum, written by Enron lawyers in December 2000, outlined practices similar to those described by California officials who allege the energy trading company created phantom congestion on electricity transmission lines and engaged in sham sales among its affiliates to increase electricity prices.
Describing one such strategy called "Death Star," the lawyers wrote: "The net effect of these transactions is that Enron gets paid for moving energy to relieve congestion without actually moving any energy or relieving any congestion."
Another practice, called "Ricochet," allowed Enron to send power out of California and then resell it back into the state to avoid price caps that applied to transactions solely within California.
"To us, this is really the smoking-gun memo," said Sean Gallagher, a staff attorney with the California Public Utilities Commission (news - web sites). "It's Enron's own attorneys admitting that Enron is manipulating the California market."
Enron turned over the documents to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (news - web sites), which made them public Monday.
Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for California Gov. Gray Davis (news - web sites), said the memos are more evidence that federal energy regulators should order power companies to refund billions of dollars in exorbitant electricity sales.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked the Justice Department (news - web sites) to open a criminal investigation into Enron's possible manipulation of the state's electricity market.
"My suspicions have been high for some time that Enron was fraudulently manipulating the California energy market for its own benefit," she said in a statement. "I am asking Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) to pursue a criminal investigation to determine whether in fact federal fraud statutes or any other laws were violated by Enron."
Justice Department officials could not immediately be reached to comment.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been investigating whether Enron either took advantage of or helped spark the crisis in California's newly deregulated power markets, in which wholesale power rates jumped tenfold, three investor-owned utilities faced financial ruin and Californians experienced rolling power blackouts. Enron has denied any role in the crisis.
The company provided the memo to the commission along with a later, undated report from other Enron lawyers that took issue with the first memo. FERC posted the memos on its Web site, along with a letter to Enron seeking more information about the company's electricity and natural gas trades in California and other Western states.
Robert Bennett, a Washington attorney representing Enron, said the memos became known 10 days ago and could easily have been kept confidential. The reports were addressed to Richard Sanders, Enron's vice president and assistant general counsel, to prepare for investigations and lawsuits resulting from the California situation.
"Current management decided the responsible thing to do was to release the documents," Bennett said.
Questionable accounting practices helped drive the company into bankruptcy last year and resulted in the sale of the energy trading unit at the center of the California allegations. "It's virtually impossible for us to determine the accuracy or inaccuracy of these memoranda," Bennett said.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
More Local News...
3 Essential Videos
The System Question as a Survival Question
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control
Du pain et des jeux
Fbi joins with Facebook to remove this report
Paraphysique de martyrologie
Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
Change Links 2018 July posted
Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme )
Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA
For a World Free of Nuclear Risks
More Breaking News...