The Viridian Design Movement

Viridian Note 00416: Enron On Tape

Key concepts
Enron, California energy crisis, fraud, market manipulation
Attention Conservation Notice:
Americans, these people put your President into office. Californians, you lost a governor over this, not to mention a whole, whole lot of your money.

Welcome to our new friends who read our last Note on Slashdot – you know, the one about nukes and their inconvenient proliferation difficulties.

The Reek breaks the human heart.

(((Did you know that air pollution can make mice mutate? These are actual scientists here, y'know, not those phony baloney characters Bush is packing in the EPA.)))

"Air Pollution and Heritable Mutations

"Air pollution from vehicles, industry, and power stations can have adverse affects on the environment and public health. Now a report in the 14 May 2004 Science indicates that airborne contaminants cause damage that can be passed on to future generations. Somers et al. (((Real scientists won't let you read this unless you pay somebody-or-other.))) showed that offspring of mice exposed to steel mill and highway air pollution for ten weeks inherited mutations in a marker gene twice as frequently as offspring of mice in a rural environment. Furthermore, the researchers demonstrated that filtering the polluted air through high-efficiency particulate-air (HEPA) filters – which remove more than 99.9% of particles 0.3 micrometers in diameter – reduced the mutation rate by about 50%. This suggests that the culprit mutagens are inhaled particles or particle-bound contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons."

(((This isn't the first time we Viridians have taken an interest in Enron.))) Viridian Note 00284: Enron Logo Contest

(((But the bald peculation and effrontery here would have been utterly astounding if we hadn't experienced the Bush Administration, since. Californians, while you were sweating in the dark, this is what your persecutors were saying to each other.)))


"Enron Traders Caught On Tape
"LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2004
"Enron Scammers On Tape


"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released two Enron memos describing company plans to inflate energy prices during California's energy crisis of 2000.

"The practices were considered so outrageous, that an attorney with the California Public Utilities Commission dubbed them a 'smoking gun memo.'

"(CBS)?When a forest fire shut down a major transmission line into California, cutting power supplies and raising prices, Enron energy traders celebrated, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports.

"'Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing,' a trader sang about the massive fire.

"Four years after California's disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, Enron energy traders can be heard – on audiotapes obtained by CBS News – gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on, and cash-in on, the Western power crisis.

"'He just f---s 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, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: 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.'

"Officials with the Snohomish Public Utility District near Seattle received the tapes from the Justice Department.

"'This is the evidence we've all been waiting for. This proves they manipulated the market,' said Eric Christensen, a spokesman for the utility.

"That utility, like many others, is trying to get its money back from Enron.

"'They're f------g 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 f------g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a------ for f------g $250 a megawatt hour.'

(((It's like poetry, isn't it?)))

"And the tapes appear to link top Enron officials Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to schemes that fueled the crisis.

"'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 pondered the possibilities of a Bush win.

"'It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy,' says one Enron worker.

"That didn't happen, but they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices.

"'When this election comes Bush will f------g whack this s--t, man. He won't play this price-cap b------t.'

"Crude, but true.

"'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.

"Both the Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes. Enron's lawyers argued they merely prove 'that people at Enron sometimes talked like Barnacle Bill the Sailor.' (((Yeah, if Bill was a pirate pulling down a million a day in market manipulation while laughing at widows.)))

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