Tacoma Power, Enron settle for $3.3 million

Tacoma Power and Enron have settled claims arising out of the 2000-2001 West Coast energy crisis. The utility settled for $3.3 million, the full amount of the claim it filed as part of the Enron bankruptcy. The claim reflected Tacoma Power’s assertion that the bankrupt Enron owed the utility refunds for power purchases at prices inflated because of Enron’s market manipulation.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court must approve the settlement. Tacoma Power is unlikely to recover the full amount because the bankruptcy court is disbursing funds for this type of claim at a rate of 22.9 cents on the dollar.

“It’s not a perfect solution, but under the circumstances this is an excellent outcome for our customers,” said Mark Crisson, director of Tacoma Public Utilities. “Additionally, it protects Tacoma Power and its customers from protracted litigation against Enron.”

Crisson complimented the utility’s legal team, Michael Kurman of the Arent Fox law firm in Washington, D. C., and Chief Assistant City Attorney Anne Spangler, for their efforts representing the interests of Tacoma Power in settlement negotiations.