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PGE Goes to Court to Stop Fraud Investigation by Oregon's Department of Justice [1] [2]

PGE's Energy Trading Practices


Portland General Electric agreed in October 2003 to settle charges it engaged in fraudulent electricity trades. Yet PGE insists it played an unwitting role or at other times says it did nothing wrong. The settlement, agreed to by the Oregon Public Utility Commission, will end further investigations by the OPUC.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is investigating PGE but that may end due to this settlement. In many cases, documents PGE was forced to provide the government show that it knowingly participated in deceptive energy trades with Enron, its parent company.

"Settling these cases instead of bringing it to trial was a very difficult decision for us because we believe our traders did not engage in any actions that harmed the power market."
— Peggy Fowler, PGE chief executive and president.

"This is a scam and you know it."
— A PGE employee to a colleague at another energy trading company. Reported by OPB in a three-part series on the scandal. [Link]

"Enron needed help to pull off these tricks, in part because it didn't control the transmission grid. The names of PacifiCorp, Spokane-based Avista and most frequently, Portland General Electric, appear in the new Enron documents as Enron's counterparts."
— Appears in the The Energy Source Network Web site and describes testimony before a California Senate Committee (6/6/02). [Link]

"PGE traders played a role in helping their Enron counterparts loop electricity from California into the Northwest and then back again -- creating false congestion on California's energy grid and the threat of electricity shortages."
— The Oregonian, 9/25/03 [Link]

"We think there's enough evidence with the Death Star trades and the posting errors to make an argument that PGE mismanaged that portion of its trading."
— Lee Sparling, administrator of the OPUC's electricity division, who led the staff review into PGE's involvement in illegal trading strategies. [link]

"Berliner pointed, for instance, to evidence produced recently by federal energy regulators that Enron may have illegally traded with its own subsidiary Portland General Electric Co. to evade California's price caps on electricity generated within the state."
— As reported by the LA Times. Robert Berliner is a Washington energy lawyer. [Link]

"PGE's own transcripts of telephone conversations, submitted to federal regulators, show that some of the utility's employees raised concerns about questionable transactions, but they did not report those concerns to authorities."
Jeff Brady of Oregon Public Broadcasting who authored a three-part series on the PGE/Enron power trading scandal. Published in the The Business Journal of Portland on July 5, 2002. [link]

"Thanks to the flagrant market manipulation in 2000 and 2001, Montana consumers paid rates that were anything but reasonable and just. In this state, businesses closed, jobs were lost and consumers were bilked out of millions".

"We've paid an unacceptably high price for the energy companies' deception, not just through skyrocketing power bills but in lost jobs and business opportunities. These lawsuits aim to set that straight."
Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath in filing a lawsuit against "PGE" accusing it of defrauding Montana consumers.

"The transmission people knew that something strange was going on--they really could have raised a red flag. One of the reasons they may not have is because Enron is their corporate parent. And that is something, I think, we'd be really interested to learn more about--whether or not there was pressure from Enron--direct or indirect--that cause PGE employees to look the other way."
Jason Eisdorfer of the Citizens Utility Board of Oregon in discussing possible reasons why PGE didn't inform regulators about questionable trades. Published in the The Business Journal of Portland on July 5, 2002. [link]

 

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