Feb 7, 2005
A Washington state utility company just released tapes made in 2001. A representative of the energy trading company Enron and a representative of a power plant in Las Vegas, Nevada were recorded discussing how to shut down the system by making phony repairs. The Enron employee says: "We want you guys to get a little creative...and come up with a reason to go down. Anything you want to do over there?...Cleaning, anything like that?" The other one replies: "Yeah, yeah. There's some stuff we could be doing."
Later the very same day, the power plant went down and shortages of electricity forced rolling blackouts in northern California that affected about two million customers. Those blackouts were then used to push up electricity rates along the whole West Coast.
When the tape was made public, a spokesman for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said, "It's understandable that the folks out West would like to hang Enron from the nearest tree – that's, after all, Western justice." But, he explained, the commission has to move slowly out of respect for due process. "That's what the courts demand," he lectured.
It's touching how sensitive government officials can be about protecting the rights of the rich crooks who ran Enron. And how "insensitive" they were to the enormous ripoff of consumers by all the power companies.