Crisis of Confidence Game
California yesterday submitted new evidence to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of a widespread plan by electricity generators, traders, and even municipal power companies to produce the state’s 2000-2001 energy crisis in order to turn a profit. State officials said the evidence, which was the result of a 103-day investigation, was just the “tip of the iceberg” in a web of abuse. The information — the state’s most comprehensive effort to date to account for how its energy market went so drastically awry — was submitted to FERC as part of California’s effort to win $9 billion in refunds for price gouging by the companies involved in the scandal. Gov. Gray Davis (D) said the evidence revealed an “epidemic” of industry cheating, including withheld power generation, illegally shared information among competitors, purposely high bidding during energy emergencies, manipulation of the emissions market, the sale of phantom services, and the creation of the appearance of congestion in the energy system.