Search The Site
Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell: Will Ken Lay indictment bring justice to Americans gouged by Enron?
Ken Lay indictment and documents on Enron's lobbying for appointment of top federal energy regulators posted on Cantwell web site
Thursday, July 08,2004
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today praised the Department of Justice Enron Task Force for its indictment of former Enron CEO Ken Lay but said that the nation's top federal energy regulators had fallen down on the job by failing to provide justice to Americans gouged by Enron's illegal energy market manipulation.
“Will this 65-page indictment lead to justice for Americans who were gouged by Enron's illegal energy market manipulation?” Cantwell asked. “The Department of Justice has done its job. Why aren't federal energy regulators doing theirs? Why are they sitting on their hands?”
Cantwell posted the Ken Lay indictment on her web site. She also posted documents showing that at the same time Enron traders were manipulating energy markets, Ken Lay lobbied for the appointment of federal energy regulators who would support Enron's energy market deregulation schemes. The documents are available at http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/docs/kenlayindictment.pdf (the Ken Lay indictment) and http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/docs/kenlay.pdf (the lobbying letter and memo).
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has refused to take action to cancel Enron's contracts with local utilities, such one with Snohomish PUD in Washington state. In fact, Enron is suing Snohomish for $122 million and other utilities in California and Nevada for another $500 million.
In a letter supporting the appointment of FERC Chairman Pat Wood and Commissioner Nora Brownell, Lay wrote, “any candidate should be a strong supporter of the need for FERC to continue its role in deregulating the electric industry.” Lay endorsed Wood, then Chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission, because he “supports free markets” and implemented the Texas deregulation plan. Lay supported Brownell because she “supports free markets and was the swing vote enabling Pennsylvania to open its electric markets to competition.”
In an internal Enron memo on the company's lobbying efforts to appoint FERC members, Lay was told “Brownell is under consideration, mostly on the strength of Enron's interest.” Lay was also told that Enron had “worked productively with Joe Kelliher” also now a FERC Commissioner. The memo concluded with a recommendation for “pitching the need for the Bush Administration to extract a very firm commitment to move forward on open access issues at FERC from their intended nominee.”