Enron Romm: History Should Not Forget
It is a common refrain in headlines at Joe Romm’s Climate Progress:
- “Koch-Fueled Americans for Prosperity Takes Credit for Bullying GOP Lawmakers Into Climate Denial” (Emilee Piece: December 8, 2011);
- “Koch-Fueled Denial Backfires: Independents, Other Republicans Split With Tea-Party Extremists on Global Warming” (Romm: December 2, 2012); and
- “Koch-Fueled Americans for Prosperity Spends $2.4 Million on Solyndra Attack Ad (VIDEO)” (Stephen Lacey: November 28, 2011).
Smearing and innuendo is hardly fair play. But in this case, Joe Romm has something embarrassing to hide. Just as Koch Industries might be his least favorite company, Enron was his darling company.
Specifically, Romm was not only a cheerleader of Enron (Enron is “a company I greatly respect,” Romm would say). He was also an unpaid consultant and collaborator with the infamously fraudulent division, Enron Energy Services (EES), purveyor of energy efficiency service in (gamed) long-term contracts.
It is timely to reestablish the linkage between Joe Romm and once-mighty Enron Corporation, a company which went bankrupt ten years ago this month. Perhaps this history will help the combustible Romm to deal with the arguments more and funding links less. (Besides, would he like for his critics to bring in the funding link between George Soros and Center for American Progress?)
Some Romm Enron Quotations
“I hope there is something in [my book] Cool Companies Mr. Lay can refer to. I’m sorry Enron isn’t in it, but if you have any good case studies, I would love to use them as I talk to the media and Fortune 500 companies. Feel free to use my personal email.”
- Email communication from Romm to Enron, June 6, 1999.
“Your [Enron Energy Services'] folk believe what I say is possible, and, more to the point, is a reasonable ‘goal’–I have that from Tom White himself, though ‘Kyoto’ probably has more meaning as a benchmark goal so that is more my focus now. I have had many discussions with EES’s senior staff.”
- Email communication from Romm to Enron, July 23, 1999.
“We believe energy outsourcers like Enron … may ultimately manage hundreds if not thousands of buildings over the Internet.”
- Joe Romm, “The Internet and the New Energy Economy” (2002).
“Outsourcing – another New Energy Economy trend – is starting to change this. Soon it may revolutionize corporate energy efficiency investments…. Some companies have turned over their entire power supply needs to outside contractors. In March 1999, Ocean Spray announced a $100 million deal with the energy services division of Enron, a major natural gas and utility company based in Houston. Enron will use its own capital to improve lighting, heating, cooling and motors and to invest in cogeneration (the simultaneous generation of electricity and steam onsite, which is highly efficient). Ocean Spray will save millions of dollars in energy costs, have more reliable power and cut pollution, without putting up any of its own capital. In September 1999, Owens Corning, the fiberglass insulation manufacturer, announced a similar $1 billion deal with Enron.”
- Joe Romm, Testimony before the Committee on Commerce of the U.S. Senate (September 21, 2000).
Romm vs. Bradley re Enron
My response to Romm turned the tables by using his own quotations about Enron (as shown by the above), and I documented how I was critical of Enron’s political capitalism model.
My counter received thousands of views and several blog links, including here.
Note the double irony. Romm ignores the fact that I was an employee who personally challenged the company’s rent-seeking via climate alarmism. And second, Romm was a blatant enabler of Enron Energy Services, whose contracts were money losers, reflecting a paucity of economic energy savings. The hidden losses and fake profits of this division were showcased at the Lay/Skilling trial.
EES was not a “cool company,” and the companies that outsourced to EES found out they were not that cool also. And not only EES but Romm’s own nonprofit Center for Energy and Climate Solutions (CECS) went out of business too.
It has been some time since Joe Romm has pulled the Enron thing on me. But I stand ready to turn the tables on him should he again do so.