Didn't the OIL compans' lobbyists argue in favor of the "sanctity" of the fraudulent Enron contracts?
United in House against Enron
By Alicia Mundy and Marcel Honore
Seattle Times Washington bureau
Instead, they'll be argued behind closed doors today and tomorrow by the "Big Four," the Democratic and Republican House and Senate energy-committee leaders. If they reach any agreements, the conference committee will hold an unusual Sunday session to vote.
The Cantwell amendment could save more than $500 million in contract-termination fees for Snohomish County, most of Nevada and some utility districts in California. FERC has already determined that Enron manipulated the energy markets to inflate prices there.
"FERC must be recognized as the rightful regulator of the wholesale power market in order to ensure that large corporations, such as Enron, are not able to make unjust power contracts that are contrary to public interest," said Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Spokane.
But Enron's creditors and several oil and gas companies, who are important contributors to the GOP, have lined up to limit FERC's power. And even though Enron is in bankruptcy, it has hired a lobbyist to undo Cantwell's work.
Inslee complained that Barton is pushing for Enron's allies and denounced a so-called "sanctity of a contract" clause included in the House version of the bill. It would effectively prevent FERC from allowing public utilities to escape contract cancellation fees, even if the contracts were deliberately inflated.