In tapes obtained by CBS NEWS, Enron energy traders can be heard on the tape celebrating and praising each other as they cashed in on the state of
California's Energy Crisis.
Enron Traders Caught On Tape
Four years after California's disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, Enron energy traders can be heard on audiotapes obtained by CBS News
gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on, and cash-in on, the Western power crisis.
"He just f---s California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.
"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.
The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders
deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.
"If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?" an Enron worker is heard saying.
"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way," another says.
"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down."
Officials with the Snohomish Public Utility District near Seattle received the tapes from the Justice Department.
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