Sunday, March 20, 2005

Uh oh

From the Edmonton Sun
Power struggle
TransAlta gets no help from Tories in shaking off taint of Enron scandal

With friends like these, who needs enemies? TransAlta Utilities and the Alberta Tories have this relationship going. They're not exactly attached at the hip. But a lot of prominent PCs are on its board. Former provincial treasurer - and reported heir apparent for the premier's job - Jim Dinning was an executive vice-president until he curiously resigned Jan. 1 to head up a small bank based out of High River.

Last week TransAlta's name came up in the legislature. This is not a good thing. Especially when it's linked with former Enron Canada president Rob Milnthorp and ex-Enron general counsel Mark Haedicke.

Haedicke, among other things, is suffering the wrath of ex-Enron workers who lost their jobs and pensions after he got a $750,000 bonus, days before the big power marketer went bankrupt. Enron is now facing charges that it rigged the California power market in 2000.

The Alberta Liberals went on the attack after they found what they claimed was a damning e-mail in the mountains of Enron files and transcripts recently released by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The document was called "Project Stanley" - the code name Enron execs invented to allegedly manipulate energy markets in California and Texas. And, if you believe the attorney general of California Bill Lockyer, honed their illegal craft, fixing the Alberta market in the early days of Ralph Klein's botched energy-deregulation regime.