You say Or-EYE-on, I say Enron


Greg, Rob Bradley over at Master Resource offers some support for the idea that maybe President Oprompter’s struggles with “Or-EYE-on as opposed to OAR-ee-on” were because he was simply trying to not say “Enron” — the Left’s former poster child for global-warming corporate social responsibility, and the father of CO2 cap-and-trade! However apt the context, that company is the One Who Must Not Be Named.


As Bradley blogs — and wrote in his book Capitalism at Work — the past surely seems to be prologue:

Enron hoodwinked the public back in 1994, claiming that its proposed $150 million project could produce solar power “at rates competitive with those of energy generated from oil, gas and coal.”


A business-section feature in the New York Times, “Solar Power, for Earthly Prices: Enron Plans to Make the Sun Affordable,” reported Enron’s pledge to deliver power for $0.055 per kilowatt hour from a 100 megawatt solar farm in the Nevada desert within two years, comparable to the average cost of delivered electricity across the nation. Enron’s rate was unheard of, exceeding even the most optimistic estimates from environmental pressure groups. But it was highly contrived, depending on a raft of government subsidies, as well as questionable assumptions about financing, technology, and delivery schedules. The rate was also back-loaded, with compounded annual cost escalations for thirty years….


But the smoke-and-mirrors project was too much for the Clinton Administration — and even for Enron, despite a suite of special subsidies. It languished and quietly died. Nevertheless, it was a heady PR moment for a politically correct company and a credulous press that either did not know or did not report the whole story.


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