Pat Wood, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said that as a result of the manipulation California would receive more than the $1.8 billion in refunds recommended by a FERC judge in December. The exact amount is to be determined in the coming months.
The FERC singled out seven subsidiaries of bankrupt Enron Corp. and five other companies for taking advantage of a dysfunctional market and reaping millions of dollars in unjust profits.
"The price gouging abounded," Commissioner William Massey said. He said he regretted that FERC did not intervene earlier to police the newly deregulated power market in California.
"Enron manipulated thinly traded physical markets to profit in financial markets," FERC said, estimating that Enron made more than $500 million in online trading in 2000 and 2001.
FERC investigators recommended that the companies be forced to give up unfairly earned profits.
The energy crisis cost the state as much as $45 billion over two years in higher electricity costs, lost business due to blackouts and a slowdown in economic growth, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
How mad are Californians that they were so publicly and humiliatingly gouged by the bankrupt company that was instrumental in making George W. Bush Governor of Texas and then Occupant of the White House?
Mad enough to vote for someone else in 2004?
UPDATE: Zed of MemeMachineGo politely refreshes my faulty memory with the following email: "Well, we already voted against him in 2000 (Gore had 5.6 million to Bush's 4.4 million.) I expect the Democrats to take CA again in 2004 (but it's easy to get tunnel vision living in one of the most liberal areas in the country, and I'm not taking this for granted as something that's going to happen without people working for it.)"
I would hope that the missing $45 billion would be reason enough for many of those 4.4 million Californians to use the power of their vote NOT to enable corporate criminals who put the state into financial crisis next time around. Orange County, are you listening?