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Enron and Bush energy policy: news roundup 17 June 2004

FERC order says Enron, others owed $270 million

by Craig D. Rose, The San Diego Union Tribune, 16 June 2004
In what state officials call a new outrage, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered California to refund about $270 million to Enron and other electricity suppliers, the very companies that the state argues should be refunding $9 billion to California for market rigging during the power crisis three years ago.
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Boxer goes after energy chief - Senator demands state get $8.9 billion in electricity refund

by Carolyn Lochhead, SFGate.com, 17 June 2004
California Sen. Barbara Boxer demanded the resignation Wednesday of Patrick Wood, the nation's top energy regulator, if he does not bow to the state's demands for $8.9 billion in electricity refunds and the renegotiation of expensive long-term contracts the state signed to relieve the 2000-01 electricity crisis. Boxer made the demand -- which she applied to all members of the five- member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- in a letter to President Bush, after an hour-long meeting with Wood, in light of the release of tape recordings of Enron energy traders talking openly about gaming the California electricity market to drive up prices during the crisis.
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Influencing Energy Policy - Did Cheney know about Grandma Millie?

by Derek Cressman, SFGate.com, 17 June 2004
Recently released tape recordings reveal not only that Enron traders knew they were engaging in ethically bankrupt practices to rig the California energy crisis, but so did higher-ups in Enron. So it's fair to ask whether CEO Ken Lay knew of the faked shortage and if he discussed it with Vice President Dick Cheney during their meetings on energy policy.
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Attempts to revive Bush's failed energy policy

by David Sirota, Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin, The Progress Report, 17 June 2004
The conservative leadership in the House is attempting to revive the Bush administration's failed energy policy this week by breaking it up into pieces. But no matter which way you slice it, Bush's policy is little more than a massive boondoggle for the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries. The bill – a product of a series of secret meetings in 2001 of Vice President Dick Cheney, former Enron CEO Ken Lay and other energy executives – would provide $23 billion in tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry while doing little to promote alternative fuels or conservation. Yet conservatives continue to push the mythology that the bill is a tonic for high gas prices and our dependence on foreign oil.
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