California Conserved, Energy Traders Didn't
KPIX 5 - CBS
We're hearing more audiotapes of energy traders laughing at California's expense, and railing against price caps. "So, you're getting screwed because... these stupid caps, right?" one trader said on tape to another.
Californians also conserved energy during the crisis. The traders didn't.
"I got the air way down," a trader said in another recorded conversation. Another replied, "Good. Go to the neighbors... go buy them a couple more window units."
But there's more. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has reviewed tapes and transcripts of traders from various companies, and says they took the song Rawhide, wrote new lyrics, and sang it on the trading floor. The lyrics apparently included:
Turn 'em on,
turn 'em off,
shut 'em down,
block 'em out,
turn 'em on,
turn 'em off,
Newly released documents offer further proof that Enron took advantage of the West Coast during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001. The documents appear to show Enron transferred power from California to Oregon, then hid the original source of the power before selling it back to California at inflated rates. The operation allegedly netted Enron nearly a quarter-million dollars in just three hours.
Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, is demanding that the federal government reimburse consumers on the West Coast. "When are you going to give justice to the individuals who have been hurt by this Enron market manipulation?" she asked.
A utility in the state of Washington wants Enron to refund customers up to $2 billion. California lawmakers are asking for nearly $9 billion in reimbursements.