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Tag Archive: Public Citizen

Consumer Group: Electricity Price-Gouging Feared Until Bids Made Public

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Enron Corp.'s manipulation of the California energy market in 2000 and 2001 is notorious. Electricity bills soared and blackouts affected hundreds of thousands of people as contemptuous traders with Enron, a power wholesaler, delighted in their scheme. Tapes of traders released in 2004 contained infuriating nuggets like this: "Just cut 'em off... They should just bring back f------ horses and carriages, f------ lamps, f------ kerosene lamps."

After investigating the scandal, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded that "supply-demand imbalance, flawed market design and inconsistent rules made possible significant market manipulation," and that many of Enron's trading strategies ...

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Let The Good Times (Continue to) Roll

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In today's edition, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reports that the annual Washington Mardi Gras party kicks off tonight at the Washington Hilton, a weekend-long event billed as "one of the most sought-after tickets in any season in Washington." The event's parties, the paper says, "are arguably the most intimate gatherings of businesspeople, politicians and lobbyists left in Washington" after new congressional ethics rules were adopted. Writing that the parties are"a throwback to the days when politicians and lobbyists socialized regularly outside the glare of the public spotlight," the paper added that they are "largely immune to the new ethics standards."

A secretive, Louisiana-based group headed by a lobbyist and former aide to now lobbyist and former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) organizes the event. The organization declined to name this year's corporate sponsors, but in years past they included R.J. Reynolds, BellSouth, and Lockheed Martin, according to the paper.

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