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NEWS RELEASE
Dec 12, 2002


CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309

Bush Administration Tells California to Pay Energy Crooks Another $1.2 Billion

FERC Analysis Should Outrage California Officials, Consumer Group Says
Santa Monica, CA -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR), called findings reported by President Bush's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) "absurd and outrageous." A series of findings released today by FERC assert that power generators that manipulated the California energy market are due $1.2 billion from the California Independent System Operator (ISO).

"FERC has once again ignored the utter failure of energy deregulation and continues on the path of failing consumers and protecting the energy companies that stole billions from California," said FTCR's senior consumer advocate Doug Heller. "The notion that these power companies should get even a dime, rather than pay Californians back for the billions they stole, is baffling, absurd and outrageous."

The findings, which a FERC judge presented to the FERC Board today, assert that, after accounting for California refunds estimated to be $1.8 billion, power generators that operated in the California market between fall of 2000 and spring of 2001 are still due $1.2 billion. According to FTCR, FERC developed rules for the measurement of refunds and payments due to energy suppliers meant to undermine the effort to get appropriate refunds from the power suppliers.

The non-profit, non-partisan FTCR said that the Bush Administration, which ignored California's pleas for intervention during the energy crisis and blamed the problem on California energy consumption rather than energy market manipulation, was siding with power companies over the interests of California consumers and businesses that were cheated by power companies like Enron and Williams.

"After covering up smoking guns like the Williams tapes, the Bush Administration now has the audacity to tell California to pay the power crooks another $1.2 billion. This report is a direct attack on California consumers and businesses and should outrage California officials who must redouble their efforts to get back California money one way or another."

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