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"I want to f--k with Nevada for a while"

"This was not a smoking gun, this was an audio tape of the bullet coming out of the chamber, hitting the victim and the killer standing over the body and laughing about it." -- Russ Campbell, Nevada Power Company attorney
LOS ANGELES (CBS) They are the audiotapes Enron -- and the government -- didn't want you to hear: recordings of Enron traders gloating over the way they manipulated energy shortages to maximize profits.

The tapes were first obtained by CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales, and aired on the CBS Evening News. Tonight Gonzales reports on what Enron plans to do now that the tapes have gone public.

Western states hard hit by the energy crisis of four years ago still owe hundreds of millions of dollars to the very same companies that rigged electricity markets, pushing up prices, causing rolling blackouts and power shortages.

"We had to go out and buy energy to keep our system in the red, to keep our lights on, to keep the strip up and running and we had to do so at exorbitant prices," says Russ Campbell, attorney for the Nevada Power Company.

Tapes given to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, show Enron and its partners in Nevada gouged consumers and forced utilities in that state— and others throughout the west— to sign expensive long-term contracts at the height of the crisis.

"I want to see what pain and heartache this is going to cause Nevada Power Company," says one Enron trader on the tapes. "I want to f--k with Nevada for a while."

"What do you mean?" a second trader asks.

"I just, I'm still in the mood to screw with people, OK?" the first trader answers.

"This was not a smoking gun, this was an audio tape of the bullet coming out of the chamber, hitting the victim and the killer standing over the body and laughing about it," says Nevada Power Company's Campbell.

But officials at the FERC, the very agency charged with regulating energy companies, has not only known about the tapes for two years, but fought attempts to release them.

Now Senator Barbara Boxer of California has called on the FERC to go after those who gouged energy consumers and end those expensive contracts -- or else.

"I said wait a minute, who are you representing here, those folks who cheated us or the consumers," says Boxer.

"I'm calling on President Bush to ask for the resignation of any FERC commissioner who continues to stand in the way of justice for California consumers who were victimized during the energy crisis," she says.

But to add insult to injury, Enron and other energy companies hope to pull themselves out of bankruptcy by collecting on the contracts, and are now suing their victims.

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This is why privatization does NOT work 17.Jun.2004 10:17

Fuck Privatization!

Over and over we are told that privatization will benefit us. It will bring down prices, foster healthy competition, and end governmental inefficiencies. Bullshit! It will give powerful incentives to wealthy privateers to fuck with us. And then laugh about it.

NEVER let privateers get hold of our water supply. Look at the control they had over our lives with energy, and the exploitation and abuse of power that resulted. And then imagine the control they would have if they controlled the water we require to survive. They tried it in Bolivia, and the Bolivians kicked their asses out of the country. (And now Bechtel, with ties to the Bush administration, is trying to sue one of the poorest nations on earth for billions, for "breach of contract.")

Next time you see an ad about how you shouldn't vote for a PUD, for example, because it would be a "costly government takeover," listen to the Enron tapes and think again.

Who is suggesting that privatization is a good thing? 17.Jun.2004 16:59

too much tv

only the government/corporations are promoting privatization as a benign and goodly godly strategy. There is no evidence that privatizing commonly-held resources does anything but makes more short-term profit for the pirates who plunder them. Who is telling us "over and over" that stealing is of benefit to "us"?

Corruption exists in the public, private, and non-profit sectors 17.Jun.2004 19:27

Pravda or Consequences

Whatever is in your heart will play out.

Greedy Hearts 17.Jun.2004 23:04

heartbroken

We found out the hard way what was in the hearts of execs at ENRON, WORLDCOM, TYCO, QWEST, HEALTHSOUTH, etc. It's so bad, so pervasive that I feel like Kevin Bacon in Animal House; "Thank you sir, may I have another!"

Speaking of Quotes from Movies . . . 18.Jun.2004 15:49

With a Song In My Heart

And from The King and I:

Yes, your majesty
No, your majesty
Tell us how low to go, your majesty
Make some more decrees, your majesty
Don't let us off of our knees, your majesty
Give us a kick of you please, your majesty
Give us a kick if you WOULD, your majesty
Oh!
That was GOOD, your majesty!