CA Energy Fraud: An Tale of Predatory Government
I've got a lot to do today, so rapid posting now with return later in commments, go read this tale of what I'm going to start calling "predatory government." Here's a sample:
federal appeals court has revived California's request for at least $1 billion in refunds to electricity customers, saying federal regulators who denied the repayments had ignored tapes in which Enron traders joked about gouging customers during the energy crisis of 2000-2001.
The ruling was issued Friday by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which repeatedly has found that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission abused its authority or violated its own rules in considering the state's claims of multibillion-dollar overcharges during the energy crisis.
The commission eventually imposed limits on the energy charges in mid-2001 but has rejected most of the state's refund requests. Friday's ruling was the third since 2004 in which the appeals court has ordered the commission to reconsider separate refund claims of at least $1 billion.
In Friday's case, the court overturned two of the commission's decisions on refunds that California is seeking for power purchased by a state agency from suppliers in the Pacific Northwest.
In one, the commission said the state was ineligible for refunds because it had taken possession of the electricity in California rather than in the Pacific Northwest. The appeals court found that conclusion to be baseless.
The main point I want to make is that it's really important for us to perceive just how much Rove/Bush/Cheney-ism has infected the federal system. We literally cannot expect the federal government to be counted upon to help us, and indeed as this case shows, often it is actively working to fuck us, rob us, and sometimes even kill us.
In terms of how we craft strategy, I believe keeping this in mind to be essential.