While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce legal team, the Legal Institute for Legal Reform argued on the behalf of energy companies today in Louisiana and in 2001 the Chamber also argued on the behalf of the energy companies in California. Who can forget Enron? Well Enron corruption scandal effected California deeply but because it’s a corporation the U.S. Chamber of Commerce does not considered the failures of companies to do the right thing if anything the Chamber remains an ardent supporter of these companies. Provided below are two press releases of the Chamber’s support of energy companies and it disregard of how you, the consumers are effected. (One Press Release is several years old that took place when all the problems with Enron came to light and the second press release was given a few weeks ago). Also below is included are some examples of the EPA violations in Louisiana.
Before that Press Release about energy companies in California I have included some background information to highlight that Enron did have an impact on California.
The California electricity crisis, also known as the Western U.S. Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001 was a situation in which California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns of pipelines by Texas energy consortiums.
One of the energy wholesalers that became notorious for “gaming the market” and reaping huge speculative profits was Enron Corporation. Enron CEO Kenneth Lay mocked the efforts by the California State government to thwart the practices of the energy wholesalers, saying, “In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what you crazy people in California do, because I got smart guys who can always figure out how to make money.” The original statement was made in a phone conversation between David Freeman (Chairman of the California Power Authority) and Kenneth Lay (CEO of Enron) in 2000, according to the statements made by Freeman to the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce and Tourism in April and May 2002.
Information obtain from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Urges Federal Energy Regulators to Preempt State Litigation on CA Power Dispute
November 26, 2001
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 26, 2001 – The United States Chamber of Commerce urged the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to exercise its full and exclusive authority to preempt state courts from dictating how power companies determine electricity rates and compensate customers for overcharges.
“The Federal Power Act clearly gives FERC the authority to preempt any imposition of state law in this case and the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause supports that authority,” said James Wootton, president of the Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “Furthermore, it is reasonable to conclude that an expert regulatory body like FERC is better equipped to handle the highly technical aspects of free-market energy pricing than a state court jury.”
At issue is an ongoing dispute in California in which private class-action trial lawyers and state government officials are suing California generators of wholesale electricity for allegedly conspiring to fix prices above competitive levels during California’s energy crisis last year. Plaintiffs are hoping to recover not only refunds for overpayments, but to collect significant punitive awards as well.
The plaintiffs want California courts to decide what prices were reasonable and which outages and other conduct by sellers were lawful. FERC, which regulates wholesale electricity markets, is conducting a broad administrative proceeding to address the alleged overcharges in California, and the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform recently submitted a brief on Federal preemption issues arguing that only FERC can decide these matters under the law.
FERC has already ordered refunds in amounts equal to the difference between the wholesale prices that the sellers charged at the time and lower just and reasonable prices pursuant to a new FERC formula. The FERC proceeding is to determine the specific dollars to be refunded by each seller under the formula. FERC has entered a refund order in the only complaint about specific outages, and the Commission also has statutory authority to deal with any other specific allegations of unlawful conduct by sellers affecting prices in California wholesale markets.
In this Press Release the Chambers finds the people lawsuits against energy companies frivolous and probablly if they could declare them unlawful, but if you see below after this press release, I have included some examples of some EPA cases that have been settled in Louisiana.
Release Date: Apr 25, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Urges Passage of Legislation to Curb Abusive Anti-Energy Lawsuits in Louisiana
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, issued the following statement urging passage of House Bill 618 that would limit abusive lawsuits against oil and gas drillers in Louisiana.
“With American families suffering every day from record-high gas prices, it is essential for policymakers, at all levels of government, to remove barriers to domestic energy production. Unfortunately, abusive lawsuits orchestrated by a small number of plaintiffs’ lawyers are harming oil and gas production in Louisiana, eliminating jobs, and contributing to higher energy prices nationwide.
“The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is proud to support this legislation, which will eliminate loopholes in current Louisiana law that allow these abusive lawsuits. We urge the Louisiana House to pass HB 618, because easing pain at the pump must go before trial lawyer profits.”
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
Here is a look at the EPA violations that have been found in Louisiana from 01/01/10 to 05/01/2012
|Case Name||Defendants||Date||Locations||Total Penalty|
|REILLY TAR & CHEM CORP. (ST. LOUIS PARK PLANT) (VERTELLUS SPECIALTIES, INC.) (CERCLA)||REILLY TAR & CHEMICAL COMPANY, Vertellus Specialties, Inc.||2010-12-30||LOUISIANA & WALKER STREET, SAINT LOUIS PARK, MN 55426||$1,720,000.00|
|Walter Oil & Gas||Walter Oil & Gas||2011-04-08||ATTN: MS. JUDY ARCHER, 1100 LOUISIANA, SUITE 200, HOUSTON, TX 77002-5299||$71,204.00|
|La Raccouri Field (Hilcorp Energy Company)||Unknown||2011-07-13||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$25,075.00|
|Pecan Lake Field (Hilcorp Energy Company)||Michael Schoch||2011-07-28||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$25,075.00|
|South Chauvin Production Facility||Michael Schoch||2011-08-18||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$25,075.00|
|Dog Lake Field Tank Battery No. 2 (Hilcorp Energy)||Michael Schoch||2011-08-24||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$25,075.00|
|Lac Blanc Field (Hilcorp Energy)||Michael Schoch||2011-08-24||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$25,075.00|
|Red Fish Point Field||Michael Schoch||2011-08-24||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$25,075.00|
|SSS LUMBER COMPANY, INC||SSS LUMBER COMPANY, INC||2011-08-26||10415 HWY 79 SOUTH, LOUISIANA, MO 63353||$24,540.00|
|Timbalier Bay CF # 1 Facility (Hilcorp Energy Company)||Michael Schoch||2011-07-28||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$17,850.00|
|Duck Lake Oil & Gas Production Facility||Michael Schoch||2011-08-24||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$17,850.00|
|DYNO NOBEL, INC||DYNO NOBEL, INC||2011-02-11||11025 HIGHWAY D, LOUISIANA, MO 63353||$15,000.00|
|Queen Bess Island Field||Michael Schoch||2011-08-18||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$10,200.00|
|West Lake Verret Facility||Michael Schoch||2011-08-18||1201 LOUISIANA STREET, SUITE 1400, HOUSTON, TX 77002||$10,200.00|
|MARRIOTT UPTOWN ALBUQUERQUE (UST)||MARRIOTT UPTOWN ALBUQUERQUE (UST)||2010-09-01||2101 LOUISIANA BLVD NE, ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87110||$4,960.00|
|WAYNE B SMITH||WAYNE B SMITH||2010-02-23||HWY 79 SOUTH, LOUISIANA, MO 62353||$3,100.00|
|Milagro Exploration||Ronnie Ratcliff||2010-10-20||WEST LAKE VERRET BLOCK STATION #3, LOUISIANA, LA 00000||$2,125.00|
|S S S INC (Permit MO0127132) Administrative Order||S S S INC||2011-02-19||10415 HWY 79 SOUTH, LOUISIANA, MO 63353||0|
|WEC030505||null||2011-04-01||TERRITORIAL SEAS OF LOUISIANA, GULF OF MEXICO, LA 70000||0|
|HERCULES INC (Permit MO0000311) Administrative Order||null||2011-02-19||11083 HWY D, LOUISIANA, MO 63353||0|