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Enron Gave Big Bucks to Democrats, Backed 'Global Warming' Scam

Wednesday, 16 January 2002 12:00 AM

Senate ratification of the treaty, which foes explained would have cost the U.S. billions and had a deadly effect on the U.S. economy, would have been a bonanza for Enron.

According to Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper, a December 1997 private internal memo written by Enron executive John Palmisano said the treaty would be "good for Enron stock!!"

"The memo said the Kyoto treaty - later signed by Mr. Clinton and leaders of 166 other countries, but never ratified by the Senate - 'would do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.'"

Writing in Wednesday's Times, Seper reports, "Federal and confidential corporate records show that after donating thousands of dollars in soft money and PAC donations beginning in 1995, Enron received easy access to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore."

Seper revealed that Clinton's Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency "often made themselves available for Enron executives to discuss the firm's needs, according to records, even arranging for meetings with key congressional staffers."

Enron's drive to get the Kyoto Protocol ratified continued even after the Senate voted 95-0 to set restrictions on any climate negotiations. The Senate resolution warned U.S. diplomats against negotiating any climate treaty in which less developed nations such as communist China would have fewer restrictions imposed on them than the U.S. and other developed countries.

That vote gave clear warning that the Senate would never ratify the treaty, costing Enron potential profits in the billions. As a result, Enron used its open door to the Clinton White House to lobby hard for a treaty that would give it the ability to buy and sell trading credits to emit carbon dioxide as part of a strategy to reduce "greenhouse gases."

Under the system pushed by Enron, new investments in gas-fired plants and pipelines would be expanded and coal-fired power plants, which emit more carbon dioxide, would be curtailed. Seper noted, "Natural gas, electricity and their delivery systems constitute Enron's major businesses."

During a White House meeting in July 1997, Enron Chairman Kenneth L. Lay prodded Clinton and Gore to support a "market-based" approach to what he described as the problem of "global warming," a theory discredited by a majority of the world's climatologists.

In the face of Senate hostility to the Kyoto accords, Enron continued to urge the Clinton administration to seek a "restructuring" of the treaty that would have been a "first step to solving the problems of global climate change." Seper notes that the company "sought laws that would have favored Enron's natural gas inventory and reduced competition from coal."

On Feb. 20, 1998, during a meeting with Energy Secretary Federico Pena, Lay "encouraged the Clinton administration to seek electricity legislation favored by Enron," outlining for the secretary what the company believed were the "important" pending legislative concerns.

"Today's meeting between Ken Lay and Energy Secretary Federico Pena to discuss electricity legislation went very well," said a memo written by Jeff Keller, the company's Washington governmental affairs chief.

"Secretary Pena indicated that the White House proposed bill is 'on the president's desk,' and that Clinton could be convinced to release the White House proposal in the next few days," Keller wrote. "He suggested that President Clinton might be motivated by some key contacts from important constituents."

The records showed that Lay took that advice and sent a letter to Clinton that day, asking him to "move this matter forward."

Seper writes that Clinton administration officials have denied any wrongdoing, saying they were only responding to constituent requests.

But while such Democrats as Rep. Henry Waxman of California attempt to create suspicion that Enron's contributions to President Bush and other Republicans gave the company undue influence with the administration without a scintilla of evidence to back up their imaginings, more real proof of the cozy ties between Enron and the Clinton administration continues to unfold.

Seper recalls, for example that, the Washington-based Export-Import Bank approved a $302 million loan toward a $3 billion Enron-controlled power plant in India in 1994.

Wrote Seper: "Mr. Clinton took an interest in the deal, asking the U.S. ambassador to that country and his former chief of staff, Thomas F. 'Mack' McLarty, then a presidential adviser, to monitor the proposal.

"Mr. McLarty - who later became a paid Enron director - spoke with Mr. Lay on several occasions about the plant. In 1996, four days before India granted approval for Enron's project, the Houston-based firm contributed $100,000 to the Democratic Party."

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Senate ratification of the treaty, which foes explained would have cost the U.S. billions and had a deadly effect on the U.S. economy, would have been a bonanza for Enron. According to Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper, a December 1997 private internal memo written...
Wednesday, 16 January 2002 12:00 AM
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