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Jun 02, 2004 - 12:45 PM

Burn, Baby, Burn

by Doug Heller
"Burn, baby, burn," is what one Enron electricity trader gleefully said about a California wildfire during the energy deregulation crisis. The fires, which knocked down power lines, helped push electricity prices higher. But that was one of the tamer comments found by CBS news among tapes in which Enron employees talk about shutting down power plants to steal "money from California to the tune of about a million [dollars a day]," and selling electricity to "grandma Millie... for f-----g $250 a megawatt hour." The tapes also show that Enron's head honchos, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were in the loop on the schemes to rob California blind. (Even with these revelations, the feds have not ordered the billions of dollars in refunds that Californians are due.) The tapes can be heard at

What's really troubling in light of these foul-mouthed revelations is that Arnold is still pushing the electricity deregulation scheme that allowed these #!$% energy companies to steal billions from California consumers and businesses. After listening to the tapes, can the governor still believe that unregulated energy companies should be trusted with our energy system? Maybe he has only heard the cleaned up version of the story -- as ArnoldWatch readers know, Arnold and Ken Lay met in 2001, during the height of the energy crisis and only a month before President Bush announced that he would not cap energy prices in defiance of California's request for relief. If that's the case, we need to give Arnold the dirty details.

Please send the governor an email at with the link to the CBS report ( Tell Arnold that he should stop pushing for more energy deregulation and, instead, he should start pushing President Bush and federal regulators to order energy refunds for California.

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