Granny Rant
Sunday, August 17, 2003
::: Finally ~ Answers on the Black Out in New York :::

Thanks to Greg Palast we now have all the skinny on how this happened, who started
it, why it started, who brought it forward and who is responsible now...thanks Greg!

Power Outage Traced to Dim Bulb in White House
The Tale of The Brits Who Swiped 800 Jobs From New York,
Carted Off $90 Million, Then Tonight, Turned Off Our Lights
Greg Palast

And now ... just a couple or three tidbits to whet your appetite:

Really quickly (cause I am hungry and you can click and read yourself) now.

1 - Power companys regulated since FDR who was super serious about it
and made sure we had lots of continuous cheap power -- or else

2 - During 1980's Niagra Mohawk Power Company (NiMo) built costly,
piece of junk nuke plant - Nine Mile Island - began charging NY ratepayers
outrageous rates by doing a "Harry Potter" on the books.

3 - In 1988, Greg Palast, then an investigator of corporate racketeers,
showed a jury a memo from exec to partner, Long Island Lighting (LILCO)
on how to lie to the gov regulators.

4 - Stuff hits fan - LILCO had to pay $4.3 billion - it put them out of business.

5 - Next all the sleeze power companies (all book cookers) got together to
swear never to break the regs again - i.e. ELIMINATE the rules. It had a

6 - The rats knew the scheme would not fly in U.S., so approached the dereg-
queen, Margaret Thatcher, in 1990. It was a devious little group called ENRON.
Thatcher licensed the first deregulated power plant.

So there .... Stage is set - and this straight from Greg:

But then came George the First. In 1992, just prior to his departure from the White House, President Bush Senior gave the power industry one long deep-through-the-teeth kiss good-bye: federal deregulation of electricity. It was a legacy he wanted to leave for his son, the gratitude of power companies which ponied up $16 million for the Republican campaign of 2000, seven times the sum they gave Democrats.

But Poppy Bush's gift of deregulating of wholesale prices set by the feds only got the power pirates halfway to the plunder of Joe Ratepayer. For the big payday they needed deregulation at the state level. There were only two states, California and Texas, big enough and Republican enough to put the electricity market con into operation.

California fell first. The power companies spent $39 million to defeat a 1998 referendum pushed by Ralph Nadar which would have blocked the de-reg scam. Another $37 million was spent on lobbying and lubricating the campaign coffers of the state's politicians to write a lie into law: in the deregulation act's preamble, the Legislature promised that deregulation would reduce electricity bills by 20%. In fact, when in the first California city to go "lawless," San Diego, the 20% savings became a 300% jump in surcharges.

Enron circled California and licked its lips. As the number one contributor to the George W. Bush campaigns, it was confident about the future. With just a half dozen other companies it controlled at times 100% of the available power capacity needed to keep the Golden State lit. Their motto, "your money or your lights."

Enron and its comrades played the system like a broken ATM machine, yanking out the bills. For example, in the shamelessly fixed "auctions" for electricity held by the state, Enron bid, in one instance, to supply 500 megawatts of electricity over a 15 megawatt line. That's like pouring a gallon of gasoline into a thimble -- the lines would burn up if they attempted it. Faced with blackout because of Enron's destructive bid, the state was willing to pay anything to keep the lights on.

Enter Clinton ----

...... between May and November 2000, three power giants physically or "economically" withheld power from the state and concocted enough false bids to cost the California customers over $6.2 billion in excess charges.

It took until December 20, 2000, with the lights going out on the Golden Gate, for President Bill Clinton, once a deregulation booster, to find his lost Democratic soul and impose price caps in California and ban Enron from the market.

But the light-bulb buccaneers didn't have to wait long to put their hooks back into the treasure chest. Within seventy-two hours of moving into the White House, while he was still sweeping out the inaugural champagne bottles, George Bush the Second reversed Clinton's executive order and put the power pirates back in business in California. Enron, Reliant (aka Houston Industries), TXU (aka Texas Utilities) and the others who had economically snipped California's wires knew they could count on Dubya, who as governor of the Lone Star state cut them the richest deregulation deal in America.

Meanwhile, the deregulation bug made it to New York where Republican Governor George Pataki and his industry-picked utility commissioners ripped the lid off electric bills and relieved my old friends at Niagara Mohawk of the expensive obligation to properly fund the maintenance of the grid system.

And the Pataki-Bush Axis of Weasels permitted something that must have former New York governor Roosevelt spinning in his wheelchair in Heaven: They allowed a foreign company, the notoriously incompetent National Grid of England, to buy up NiMo, get rid of 800 workers and pocket most of their wages - producing a bonus for NiMo stockholders approaching $90 million.

Gotta go eat now .... but I think you should scroll back up top and click and
read the rest .... stuff like

So ... the free-market British buckaroos controlling Niagara Mohawk raised prices, slashed staff, cut maintenance and CLICK! -- New York joins Brazil in the Dark Ages.

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