Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | August 15, 2003

Bush and his friends strike again

By Steve Gilliard

As Kos said, he's getting root canal, so I'll be posting here and on my blog until he doesn't feel like he 's reliving Marathon Man.

Greg Palast has a very interesting article on the greed which led to deregulation and thus, my 26 hour soujourn in the dark.

......... In the 1980s, (Niagara Mohawk Power Company) built a nuclear plant, Nine Mile Point, a brutally costly piece of hot junk for which NiMo and its partner companies charged billions to New York State's electricity ratepayers.

To pull off this grand theft by kilowatt, the NiMo-led consortium fabricated cost and schedule reports, then performed a Harry Potter job on the account books. In 1988, I showed a jury a memo from an executive from one partner, Long Island Lighting, giving a lesson to a NiMo honcho on how to lie to government regulators. The jury ordered LILCO to pay $4.3 billion and, ultimately, put them out of business.

........ After LILCO was hammered by the law, after government regulators slammed Niagara Mohawk and dozens of other book-cooking, document-doctoring utility companies all over America with fines and penalties totaling in the tens of billions of dollars, the industry leaders got together to swear never to break the regulations again. Their plan was not to follow the rules, but to ELIMINATE the rules. They called it "deregulation."

It was like a committee of bank robbers figuring out how to make safecracking legal. .......

Now, if this story sounds somewhat familiar, it's because it ties into Bush's buddy Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay.

Remember Enron, the company which stole the futures of thousands of loyal employees? Well, their major scam was energy deregulation. They were going to become rich "trading" power.

Well, when Congress wanted to do something to upgrade the power grid, Tom "the Terminator" DeLay, killed the bill with White House approval. Why would the White House approve? Because the Vice President was developing a Ken Lay friendly energy plan, the one which has been investigated ever since.

In the Bush/Cheney world of crony capitalism, a plan which would have prevented a massive blackout which didn't enrich their friends, wasn't worth having.

They were going to get paid, no matter the cost to the rest of us.

As I listened to Bush talking about "upgrading" the power grid, between begging for cash 3,000 miles away, all that came to mind was the job Halliburton is doing in Iraq. I do not trust this Administration to come up with a plan any better for New York than they did for Iraq. Except, he can't give this contract to their friends by fiat.

Posted August 15, 2003 08:16 PM | Comments (2)


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