Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath on Monday criticized a proposed settlement reached by the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Enron Corp over allegations that the company ripped off businesses in the Northwest in 2000 and 2001.
The Montana attorney general noted that in January 2005, FERC staff members testified that Enron had manipulated the wholesale energy market in 11 Western states, including Montana, and made US$1.7bn in profits.
"It is especially ironic that the proposed settlement now seeks to deprive Montanans of the opportunity to resolve its claims," McGrath said. "What Enron did was wrong. Consumers in Montana and throughout the Northwest deserve better."
Ash Grove is at risk for US$5m in termination charges and interest to Enron because of the energy company’s failure to deliver power to the company’s cement plant in Montana City. Ash Grove Cement is not only out of the money paid to Enron, but it had to pay twice the normal rate for replacement power when Enron couldn’t deliver. Now, Cantwell said, Ash Grove is being asked to pay Enron for services that it didn’t provide.