Gore’s Inconvenient Enron

by Chris Horner on April 28, 2009

in Blog, Features

This is a worthy topic for continued congressional exploration. In short, the video and accompanying narrative dissect how, at his Friday Capitol Hill appearance touting a scheme to ration energy while in the process rewarding business who helped write the scheme:

Al Gore obfuscates, downplays and refuses to discuss the role that CEOs have played in crafting his Cap-and-Trade C02 trading schemes and carbon swapping systems.

Al Gore tries to put a lid in Congressional committee testimony on a little reported but vitally important subject in the global warming, carbon-tax ‘debate’- the new derivatives bubble in the emerging green-energy credit-swap market….

The point from Rep. Scalise that is gaveled over by the chairman and stuttered-over by Gore is that many of the Congressmen are ‘concerned about turning over our energy economy over to firms like Enron and some of these Wall Street firms that wrecked out financial economy.’

Fmr. Vice President Al Gore denies that Ken Lay and other CEOs developed carbon scheme: “I didn’t know him well enough to call him ‘Kenny-boy’.

Of course, Gore wasn’t the home-state governor of this Fortune 15 company either, so I guess his supposed lack of familiarity (keep reading) would make sense – but one might ask what nickname Gore had for (or from) close family friend and, ahem, benefactor, the Soviet stooge Armand Hammer? Maurice Strong? The gang at his own personal Enron, scam-artist and buddy-run Molten Metals? Et cetera, et cetera…

Here, we see how Gore lapses into his true self, well-known before adoption of this Right Rev. persona, to rather awkwardly try and change the subject from something that is rightly discomfiting to him. So allow me to address the point, as there is much, much more to the story.

Twelve years ago almost to this very day I left my law firm to accept a position that had rather unexpectedly fallen in my lap with a phone call from Enron, asking me to be their Director of Federal Government Relations. Everyone polled suggested it was a great opportunity, a company admired throughout town, not just by the current (Clinton-Gore) administration with which it was very close, but by Republicans, too.

My recollection is that it was my first day on the job when I walked into my boss’s office in Enron’s suite across from the White House, smack into a meeting between her and who I now know to be two of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s senior DC officials. OK. But the next day I was tasked with sitting in for “Kenny Boy” at a meeting in fancy New York law firm offices (in DC), around a table of Baptists and Bootleggers, rent-seekers and green puritans, discussing how to ensure a global warming treaty came about, of our collective design, and how to rope the U.S. in.

So, seeing very measured groups like Union of Concerned Scientists on my immediate left, I turned to one of the rent-seekers’ officers on my right, among whom I recall being the American Gas Association, Niagara-Mohawk Power, and BP, among others. In response to my query, “what are we doing sitting around a table with a bunch of people who want to put us out of business?”, I was told with a laugh, “they want to put coal out of business first.”

Lovely people, these folks kind enough to introduce me to the world’s second-oldest profession of trying to make one’s fortune off of policy favors from buddies in government instead of by innovation or competition. Frederic Bastiat, phone your office.

So I fired off a “Houston, we have a problem” missive to my boss asking if Enron knew what it was getting into in this group. That’s when they explained the specifics of their business plan to me – which did include setting up a trading business with Goldman, by the way, as one of Goldman’s energy practice chiefs at the time also roared to me in joy about about all of the money they were going to make. This cannot conceivably be news to Gore and his VC partner and former Goldman Pooh-Bah Blood discussed in the linked item.

This plan has since been carried off to greener pastures by numerous of Kenny Boy’s protégés – including one of the most vocal leaders of the current industry push for the cap-and-trade rationing scheme, as I detail in “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Force, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed“. Read that if you want to know just how Rep. Scalise really did nail things in his questioning.

Anyway, fast forward a few uncomfortable weeks of retaliatory behavior that I am confident you wouldn’t believe, but I’d be happy to take a speaking fee to tell you about. I’m gone, and Enron and the greens are continuing on their way with what happens to be Congress’s current agenda. Soon thereafter, in July of that year (1997), a unanimous Senate votes pursuant to Art. II, Sec. 2, its (unsolicited) “advice” to Clinton-Gore to not go to Kyoto and agree to that beast. In December Al Gore then flies