Tuesday :: Oct 14, 2003

Pennies From Hell


by pessimist

Reliant Retires Two Units at Its Etiwanda Power Plant in Southern California

This didn't take long. Der Gropenfuehrer isn't even in office yet, and the big energy companies that gamed California for gross profit are already making moves.

Beside closing this plant, Reliant has had their slap-on-the-wrist settlement with California accepted by FERC.

Federal regulators approved a potential $50 million settlement Thursday with Reliant Resources Inc. over allegations the energy trader and producer manipulated western electricity markets in 2000 by withholding power.

Wood said he expects other companies to follow Reliant's lead and settle allegations stemming from improper practices during the California electricity crisis in 2000 and 2001. During the time wholesale electricity and gas prices skyrocketed across the West.

FERC said that the settlement concludes its investigation of Reliant in connection with the alleged withholding of electric power in California.

California Gov. Gray Davis criticized the settlement, calling it "chump change."
"Reliant ripped California ratepayers off for billions of dollars and FERC slaps them on the wrist," Davis said in a statement. "What incentive is there for generators to play by the rules if they can get away with this?"

Reliant's chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement issued in Houston: "We intend to conduct our business in a fashion that not only meets the letter and spirit of the law, but also sets a standards of excellence based on the highest ideals of corporate responsibility.

"Resolving the issues related to California continues to be a major goal of Reliant. We are continuing to review the events of 2000 and 2001 in an effort to resolve any other outstanding issues."

Palast was right.

pessimist :: 10:02 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!