A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Reasons to Sell Enron Wind (October 1998 memo to Ken Lay)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 22, 2013

“Wind is almost a pure subsidy play, which means that Enron will be at odds with the market and must continually intervene into the political processes to extend subsides and/or create new ones. This is an expensive process and may trade away what we are lobbying for elsewhere.”

In my last seven (of 16) years at Enron, my title was Director of Public Policy Analysis. In this role, I was Enron’s libertarian, balancing, I suppose, Enron’s Left environmentalist John Palmisano, author of the infamous Kyoto memo of December 1997.

Enron had multiple profit centers around the global warming issue, which made my internal case for rejecting climate alarmism/policy activism an uphill one. But I got my licks in, including with some ‘e-mail wars’ with Palmisano. I have written numerous posts at MasterResource on Enron’s rent-seeking business strategy and will further set the historical record straight with a forthcoming book in Enron-inspired trilogy.

"THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE GOOD FOR ENRON STOCK!!" (Enron's Kyoto memo turns 15)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 24, 2012

Last week, a Hall of Shame cronyism memo turned 15 years old. Dated December 12, 1997, it was written from Kyoto, Japan, in the afterglow of the Kyoto Protocol agreement by Enron lobbyist John Palmisano.

Global green planners such as Palmisano were euphoric that, somehow, someway, the world had embarked on an irreversible course of climate control (and thus industrial and land-use control). His memo reflects the train-just-left-the-station mentality, as well as the specific benefits for first-mover ‘green’ Enron. Enron, in fact, had no less than six profit centers tied to pricing carbon dioxide (CO2), and seven if CO2 were capped and traded.) The story of Enron as the darling company of Left environmentalists has been well told elsewhere.)

The Washington Post broke the memo soon after Enron’s demise, showing how Enron was hardly a free-market, capitalistic company.