PUD gets Enron refunds

Clallam County Public Utility District's energy conservation programs will receive $59,724 from a state attorney general's settlement with former energy trader Enron over market manipulation in 2000-2001.

Clallam PUD spokesman Jeff Beaman said specific uses still are undetermined but will be focused on weatherization and helping residential customers reduce their power bills, although not through direct assistance.

"We may be looking at some different areas besides insulation and double-paned windows that comply with the money's requirements. Then that will be included in our conservation program strategy," he said.

Teach energy efficiency

The Washington State University Extension Energy Program will receive more than $1.2 million to conduct energy audits and teach businesses how to become more energy efficient.

Spokeswoman Sheila Riggs said the extension program and the city of Port Angeles are identifying one and possibly more energy conservation projects to receive the funding.

Battelle, which operates Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the Department of Energy, received $1.6 million to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings during the next three years.

But laboratory spokeswoman Franny

White said the money will be used at the company's Richland campus, not in Sequim.

Enron reportedly made nearly $2 billion in profits from its electricity trading operations in the Western states during 2000 and 2001.

Collected only half

Attorneys general from several Western states investigated whether Enron traders manipulated the energy market.

They uncovered schemes dubbed with such colorful names as "Death Star," "Fat Boy," "Get Shorty," "Ricochet" and "Load Shift."

The states of Washington, California and Oregon, as well as some California utilities and other organizations, settled with Enron for $1.52 billion in summer 2005.

"We expected to receive only pennies on

the dollar due to the company's bankruptcy," said Attorney General Rob McKenna.

"We were able to recover nearly half of the $22.5 million we were owed under the settlement; that's more than anyone expected."

To date, the attorney general's office has

distributed nearly $45 million from its settlements with Duke Energy, El Paso, Reliant, Williams and, now, Enron.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@

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