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The enron smoking gun

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Sat., 6/1/02
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It reads like a bad Mafia novel, but the latest chapter in the Enron saga reveals that the Crooked E Gang really was rigging the price of electricity in California last year, leading to massive shortages and skyrocketing prices. “About $30 billion was extorted from this state,” fumed California’s governor, still hot over the fact that people’s electric bills quadrupled overnight, with Enron being the chief profit taker.

At the time, Enron rejected accusations that it had anything at all to do with the hit on California. But now we have the internal corporate memos admitting that Enron thugs were indeed conspiring and making a killing.

They deliberately jiggered the supply of electricity and artificially jacked up prices. The memos describe the use of “phantom congestion” and “megawatt laundering,” as well as other ripoff tactics with such code names as “Fat Boy,” “Ricochet,” and “Load Shift.”

These latest revelations also run the Enron scandal all the way to the corporation’s chief fixer: the Bush White House. It was George W. and Dick Cheney who kept refusing to step in last year when Californians’ electric bills were going through the roof. “Price caps are not a help,” barked Cheney, who blamed environmentalists for the energy crunch.

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