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About
Glossary

Copyright 2008-10,
CaliforniaPHOTON.com
V 1.06
site last updated: 6/26/2010

C a l i f o r n i a   P H O T O N

Reliant Energy

Reliant Energy Inc. (NYSE: RRI) (website), based in Houston, Texas, is an electricity retailer and wholesaler. During the California Electricity Crisis of 2000 and 2001, Reliant, as electricity wholesaler, manipulated the market to extort huge profits from California utilities.

Pollution

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts identified Reliant Energy as the 36th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States in 2002 with roughly 34 million pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air every year. 1   2  

Fraud

In April of 2004 Reliant Energy Services and four of its officers were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and commodities manipulation.

FERC released transcripts from Reliant Energy that reveal how their traders intentionally withheld power from the California market to inflate prices. 3  

Reliant Operations Manager 1: I don't necessarily foresee those units being run the remainder of this week. In fact you will probably see, in fact I know, tomorrow we have all the units at Coolwater off.

Reliant Plant Operator 2: Really?''

Reliant Operations Manager 1: Potentially. Even number four. More due to some market manipulation attempts on our part. And so, on number four it probably wouldn't last long. I would probably be back on the next day, if not the day after that. Trying to uh . . .

Reliant Plant Operator 2: Trying to shorten supply, uh? That way the price on demand goes up.

Reliant Operations Manager 1: Well, we'll see.

Reliant Plant Operator 2: I can understand. That's cool.

Reliant Operations Manager 1: We've got some term positions that, you know, that would benefit.


References

1. THE TOXIC 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States, peri.umass.edu,
2. ,
3. Reliant Indicted for Manufacturing California Energy Crisis, ens-newswire.com, 4/9/2004 [cached]