The power WASN'T all meant for California?

During the power crisis a couple of years ago, which we all now know, thanks to recorded phone conversations, was a conspiracy by Enron, a lot of Washingtonians were angry that their power was being sold to the south. Water was diverted to power plants, and that caused the deaths of many fish. I just heard on the local news (I live in Washington now) that Enron employees called this “fish kill power”. According to the news, much of this power was intended to be sold to other states than California.

Now, as a native Californian, I thought too much power was wasted by people in my (former) state. Since I was on DWP power, I didn’t face the high electricity bills that others did; but I still practised conservation. No a/c, no lights on unless they were needed – and those were low-consumption flourescents, not even an alarm clock that needed to be plugged in. I didn’t go so far as to unplug the TV or computer when I wasn’t using them, but I did keep an eye on the power I was using. But a lot of other Californians still wasted a lot more power than I did, and Washingtonians were pissed.

And now we find out that Enron et al deliberately manipulated the power supply, and that they pointed to California as a scapegoat when they were selling power elsewhere. Curiouser and curiouser…

This morning, KUOW (our Seattle NPR station) played excerpts of the audio tapes released by Senator Maria Cantwell (Seattle Times story).

You can read a transcript here (note: pdf). It’s pretty damning where they talk about their knowledge of the pending investigations and how they’re going to try to skate through the gray areas with a friendly FERC. One guy refers to “political risk,” and then says, “<I>f Jeff Skilling, uh, has to go in front of some commission and explain the activities of the West Power Group, that’s probably not so great for my career.”


Awhile back, in one of these forums, I got into a nasty argument with a certain energy company employee about the matter of energy companies cooperating to screw California. She called me paranoid, IIRC. It wouldn’t be polite to gloat, I suppose, so I won’t call her by name.