Enron executive admits to manipulating California power shortages
October 18, 2002
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Revelations in a California court room reveal that corporate profiteering was partly to blame for the crisis in Cal...
Revelations in a California court room reveal that corporate profiteering was partly to blame for the crisis in California’s deregulated power industry. On October 17, a former top Enron executive pleaded guilty to rigging the state’s electricity markets during the power crisis.
In an astonishing admission, Timothy Belden, 35, Enron’s chief energy trader, admitted to creating artificial congestion on the power grid by scheduling electricity service that Enron did not intend to complete. The company would then collect payments to relieve the contrived bottleneck.
Another scheme involved transmitting power out of California and then selling it back at higher prices.
When asked why he did it, Belden hesitated, then replied: “I did it because I was trying to maximize profit for Enron.”
Source: Los Angeles Times, reported in the Toronto Star.