OLYMPIA -- In January 2001, my office joined California and Oregon in investigating whether state or federal laws were violated during the recent energy crisis that resulted in dramatic increases in power costs for thousands of Washington consumers.
We had strong reason to believe that Enron and other energy companies were manipulating the energy market during this time. While the company said it had nothing to hide, until just recently it refused to cooperate by producing documents necessary for the states' investigation.
The memos released today by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show that Enron's own attorneys had serious questions about whether the company was engaged in illegal price manipulation and unfair business practices in the Western power market .
While Enron traders busied themselves devising clever labels such as "death star" and "ricochet" to describe their strategies for manipulating the market, consumers in the West were taking a direct hit in their pocket books.
I am pleased that FERC has demanded that Enron quickly provide additional information relating to today's disclosures. We will continue to actively work with California and Oregon to review Enron's documents for additional evidence. After months of delay, we need to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.
My office will continue to investigate and take whatever actions are appropriate in the interest of this state's power users.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:
Staff Fact-Finding Investigation of Western Markets (Enron, et al)