Remember the California Energy Crisis? Remember power plants shutting down? Remember the rolling blackouts? Remember them trying to blame the environmentalists for the mess?
Well, they have the energy traders on tape,manipulating the market and ordering the plants shut down, while gloating about creating a crisis so they could line their pockets.
There are two Enron memos describing Enron's plans to inflate energy prices during the energy crisis:
Enron memo, Dec. 6, 2000 .pdf file
Enron memo, Dec. 8, 2000 .pdf file
And here are some choice quotes from the tape:
When a forest fire destroyed a transmission line, cutting power supplies and raising prices, Enron energy traders celebrated.
- "Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing," a trader sang about the massive fire.
"He just fucks California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.
"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.
The tapes show that that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.
- "If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?" an Enron worker is heard saying.
"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way," another says.
"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down."
"They're fucking taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"
"Yeah, now she wants her fucking money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her asshole for fucking $250 a megawatt hour."
The tapes appear to link Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to the schemes.
- "Government Affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling," says one trader.
"Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?"
Before the 2000 election, Enron employees were looking forward to a Bush win, so they could fraudulently manipulate the market without oversight, and since they were certain that Bush wouldn't place any limits on energy prices.
- "It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy," says one Enron worker.
"When this election comes Bush will fucking whack this shit, man. He won't play this price-cap bullshit."
And they were right: he wouldn't.
- "We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps," said Mr. Bush on May 29, 2001.
Was that REALLY why, George?
Both the Bush's Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes.