Missoulian State Bureau HELENA - Former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot is serving as a lobbyist for Enron Corp., one of the nation's largest electricity and natural gas marketers.
In a Friday story about Texas-based Enron, the Wall Street Journal reported that Enron is concerned that political pressure will compel states or Congress to control electricity prices, "which could undermine Enron's business."
The Journal said Enron is worried about the backlash against electric deregulation in Western states and possibly in New York if the cost of electricity soars this summer.
The newspaper said Enron hired Racicot "and dispatched him to court Western politicians." Two weeks ago, it said, Racicot, a Republican, had breakfast with Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat. After they talked about fly-fishing, the Journal said, Kitzhaber said, "Marc did say he was working to re-energize the discussion about energy and had some ideas for a framework the governors might want to consider."
Kitzhaber said he knew that Racicot had joined the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm of Bracewell & Patterson, but didn't disclose that he was on retainer to Enron and "and the star of Enron's Western states' advocacy team,' " the Journal reported.
The newspaper went on to quote Racicot as saying he was working "not with Enron's direction but with their knowledge" to advocate positions that he also felt were important.
Enron's net income hit $979 million in 2000 and its annual revenue increased to $100.8 billion, the Journal said.
Racicot was governor of Montana from 1993 until January 2001. He was a leading supporter of the electricity deregulation that Montana enacted in 1997.