Senator Cantwell Continues Fight Against Enron to Protect NW Ratepayers

Senator Maria Cantwell is holding a press conference this morning in Seattle to oppose a proposed settlement of overcharge claims by the Snohomish PUD against Enron.

Senator Cantwell is sending a letter today to FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urging that they reject this settlement. She calls the agreement “woefully inadequate.” The proposed settlement was made by FERC staff and Enron.

The Snohomish PUD filed a claim of over $20 million against Enron for overcharges as Enron
manipulated the electricity market in 2000 – 2001. The proposed settlement is for only $2.3 million.

Enron went bankrupt after manipulating the energy markets and stealing millions and millions of dollars from businesses and other ratepayers. The Snohomish PUD has said these illicit actions by Enron total over $1.8 billion for all ratepayers.

Despite pleadings from ratepayers and the states for the Federal government to get involved Bush stood on the sidelines doing nothing. FERC did nothing.

The Snohomish PUD cancelled its contract with Enron just days before Enron filed for bankruptcy on Dec 2, 2001. Enron, even though bankrupt, filed a $125 million contract-termination suit against the Snohomish PUD.

Efforts by the Snohomish PUD and Senator Cantwell helped bring to light the shady corrupt practices of Enron.

Particularly troubling now is a part of the proposed agreement that would hide a lot of evidence in this case from the public. The settlement says that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will “withdraw all pleadings, testimony, related exhibits, discovery requests of any type, and all additional requests for relief filed with FERC.”

This action would hurt the Snohomish PUD’s efforts to defend itself against Enron’s contract termination penalty claim.

And it would nullify the amendment Cantwell added to Senate legislation that gave FERC authority to cancel these termination fees as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

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