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Enron Tapes Anger Californians

California electricity customers aren´t laughing after hearing about transcripts of phone conversations with Enron energy traders joking about manipulating the state´s power market.

The calls were made during the Western energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.

A public utility near Seattle obtained the transcripts from the Justice Department, which is investigating Enron´s trading practices.

As transcribed by the utility, the conversations show traders talking about creating congestion on transmission lines and doing other things to manipulate the power market.

In one transcript, a trader asks about “all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein says the tapes “provide concrete evidence” of manipulation and fraud by energy companies.