Public Citizen has broken a story based on a close reading of the 700-plus-page energy bill currently being debated by the Senate and other public documents. Apparently, under the bill, a consortium formed by four former Enron executives qualifies for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees for a $2.8 billion coal gassification facility in Wyoming.
Public Citizen’s investigation to find out who this loan would benefit narrowed the answer to just one company: Houston-based DKRW Energy. This company, named after the four Enron executives that founded it – Jon C. Doyle, Robert C. Kelly, H. David Ramm and White – formed a subsidiary, Medicine Bow Fuel & Power, to develop a $2.8 billion coal gasification project in Medicine Bow, Wyo. The DKRW facility meets all the criteria required in the legislation: The coal will be supplied from Arch Coal mines neighboring the power facility; it will stuff carbon dioxide emissions into oil wells; and the facility will be located in a western state (Wyoming) at an altitude above 4,000 feet.
Following the release of the story, Senate Energy Committee representatives contacted Public Citizen with an explanation that several other companies also qualify for funds under the bill’s provision. But since neither the names of the companies nor their projects are publicly available, Public Citizen has not been able to confirm the assertion.
The organization did note that the former Enron execs likely finagled the loan provisions because, given their track records, they were finding it difficult to secure private funding for their pork-barrel project.