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McCullough Research has appeared in industry journals and the mainstream media. Please contact the publication listed for permission to reproduce or distribute the items below.

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

2014

February 14, 2014
Why Not Do a Market Test of Columbia Generating Station?
Clearing Up, Jude Noland

"'One might argue the Kalama Energy Center numbers are too low, McCullough said; but even those costs were too high for that project to be viable, as the market was even lower. “It’s very hard to beat the current market, which is the issue that is really the central theme of the PSR report,” he said. “We’ve had five years of market prices lower than the price of power at CGS; let’s see if there’s a better deal out there than operating the plant.'"

February 13, 2014
Nuclear fuel deal has Northwest ratepayers speculating in a risky commodity
The Oregonian, Ted Sickinger

"'McCullough, for one, insists this is no deal at all for customers of the Bonneville Power Administration, who buy the plant’s output and financially backstopped the fuel purchase. He says it didn’t come through the normal channels, it doesn’t fit Energy Northwest’s typical fueling plans and it didn’t receive adequate vetting for a project of its size. At its most basic level, he says, its commodity speculation.'"

January 30, 2014
BPA: Elliot Mainzer officially named administrator; looks to firm up leadership team
Oregonlive, Ted Sickinger

"'On all the searches we did, he was not involved in the California trading activity or the Canadian activity,' said Robert McCullough, managing partner of McCullough Research, which helped numerous public and private clients unwind Enron’s accounting, decipher tapes and document trading after Enron’s collapse. 'He has a clean bill of health in terms of the 10 million Enron documents we have in our files.'"

January 27, 2014
Newsweek Says Washington Nuke Plant Overpaid for Fuel
Willamette Week, Nigel Jaquiss

"The problem, according to the article's author, Pulitzer-prize winner David Cay Johnston, is Energy Northwest didn't need the fuel for its Richland, Wash. plant, and and paid at least a quarter of a billion too much."

January 23, 2014
Kentucky-Fried Politics
Newsweek, David Cay Johnston

"The true (and mostly hidden) costs of this deal – and how it deftly siphoned many millions from the Pacific Northwest to Kentucky – became known only after an independent economist in Portland, Ore., dug through the official files and contracts and wrote a 212-page report in December."

January 15, 2014
Oregon Economist Challenges Analysis Keeping NW’s Only Nuclear Plant Alive
Electricity Policy, Kennedy Maize

"The Energy Northwest comparison of the existing nuclear plant with new gas generation is also skewed by market purchase assumptions, says McCullough. The utility paper based its cost conclusions on closing the nuke ‘midway through a refueling cycle and then purchasing its full output at $32/MWh until the new power plant is ready, whether or not the energy was needed.’ McCullough comments, ‘Put colloquially, closing the plant earlier than the next fueling cycle is like throwing out the food already in your refrigerator because you don’t like the advertised prices at the grocery store.’"

2013

December 27, 2013
New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets
New York Times, Matthew L. Wald

"Output from the two has sometimes forced the Columbia Generating Station in Washington State, the region’s only surviving nuclear reactor, to cut back its production. One recent study found that shutting down the reactor would save consumers $1.7 billion, partly because it cannot run full time, and partly because its costs are higher than some other technologies."

December 18, 2013
The Not-So-Green Machine
Willamette Week, Nigel Jaquiss

"The report’s author, Robert McCullough, says mining and processing Energy Northwest’s uranium fuel produces enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. 'Energy Northwest has frequently claimed the Columbia Generating Station is carbon-free,' he says. 'That’s not true.'"

December 11, 2013
Costly To The Core
Willamette Week, Nigel Jaquiss

"McCullough says we could replace the plant with cheaper power and save ratepayers $1.7 billion over the next two decades. 'The people who are paying for this plant,' he says, 'should want it closed.'"

December 10, 2013
Report calls Northwest's lone nuclear plant a money drain
Portland Tribune, Steve Law

"Closing the Northwest’s lone nuclear power plant could save taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next 17 years, according to a new report commissioned by the Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. "

July 23, 2013
Ban JPMorgan from California’s electricity trading business
Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik

"The biggest problem in California, McCullough says, is that power bidding in the state is done in secret — unlike other states where bids and offers are made in public. That allows for more manipulation and may help explain why wholesale power prices in California tend to be higher than in surrounding states."

June 6, 2013
Feds back California on JPMorgan energy trades
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler

"Robert McCullough, an energy consultant in Portland, Ore., said the firm was 'manipulating the fine print to get the results they wanted.'"

May 19, 2013
Enron no lesson to traders as EU probes oil-price manipulation
Bloomberg News, Ben Moshinsky, Lynn Doan and Jim Brunsden

"'We're making exactly the same mistakes we did with Enron, just with a different commodity,' Robert McCullough, an energy consultant, said by telephone from Portland, Oregon. 'The same manipulation we saw in electricity and gas pricing is what we're seeing in oil.'"

May 16, 2013
Too nice for voter fraud? Some say OR election system vulnerable despite few cases
Northwest Watchdog, Shelby Sebens

"'This is a very Oregon moment,' researcher Robert McCullough of the energy consulting firm McCullough Research said. 'The Pacific Northwest is a very honest area, and so we have little in the way of checks and balances. But luckily, we also have very few villains.'"

April 24, 2013
Studies mull impact of closing nuclear power plant near Richland
Tri-City Herald, Annette Cary

"McCullough, an economist who serves on the committee that oversees Reed College's small nuclear research reactor in Portland, thought it seemed reasonable when approaced by environmentalists to see if shutting down the Energy Northwest reactor early could produce significant savings."

April 24, 2013
Northwest physicians group hires economist to evaluate Hanford Nuclear Plant
Wall Street Journal

"The Washington and Oregon chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility have hired Robert McCullough of McCullough Research to examine the business case for an early retirement of the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant"

The market price of regional electricity in the Pacific Northwest has now fallen below the price of operating the plant. Additional article here.

A Northwest physicians group is paying for a full exam of the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant. Additional article here.

March 25, 2013
Oil and electricity: A compare-and-contrast tale of two regulators
McClatchy Washington Bureau

"Last year's West Coast price spikes amid ample supplies added to the urgency in determining whether excessive financial speculation is driving price volatility."

2012

December 10, 2012
State's power-plant fight with JPMorgan Chase is a legacy of deregulation mess
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kaslerp

"'There's still a bit of gaming the system,' said Robert McCullough of McCullough Research in Portland, Oregon. 'It is better, it's not good enough.'"

December 6, 2012
Even U.S. senators complain about gas prices
The Oregonian, David Sarasohn

"'We could not find the outages,' Robert McCullough said. 'It doesn't mean there weren't any, but the reports weren't accurate. At the moment, I think they're pretty suspicious.'"

November 30, 2012
Rachel Maddow Interviews Senator Cantwell
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

"What we really need now is for the Department of Justice to use their full power and get to the bottom of this."

video

November 27, 2012
Senators seek U.S. probe of refineries' actions in gasoline market
Los Angeles Times, Ronald D. White

"'Potentially market-making information, misleading reports of shutdowns could create or exacerbate a perceived supply shortage and artificially drive market prices to unjustifiably high levels,' the letter to Holder says."

November 27, 2012
Western lawmakers seek probe of refineries
AP, Kevin Freking

"An analysis by McCullough Research indicates that gasoline inventories were either increasing or remaining at historic five-year averages during the highest price spikes."

November 27, 2012
Senators Ask Justice to Probe California Gasoline Prices
Reuters, Roberta Rampton

"The senators cited a report from independent energy consultant Robert McCullough that said two West Coast refineries continued to operate throughout May despite reports they were shut for maintenance."

Letter to the Department of Justice here.

Also see the McCullough Research report here.

November 27, 2012
Gas price spikes disguise real problems with California market
Los Angeles Times Times, Michael Hiltzik

"McCullough, whose contention inspired Tuesday's call by the six senators for a federal investigation, says tighter regulatory oversight of the refinery industry is essential. 'No specific agency has regulatory authority over oil and gasoline markets,' he says. 'No specific agency accumulates data on West Coast markets in sufficient detail to provide a check on the exercise of market power.'"

November 27, 2012
Western senators want refineries probed over high gasoline prices
McClatchy Newspapers, Kevin G. Hall

"West Coast motorists were led to believe that the price spikes were tied to outages and production problems, but McCullough showed that inventories were building at a time when there were news reports, which refiners didn’t dispute at the time, of possible supply shortages. "

November 27, 2012
Gas Prices: Did oil firms manipulate market, senators ask
Press Enterprise, Ben Goad

"The McCullough report found that such manipulation could be easy to coordinate between companies. 'In highly concentrated industries, the exercise of market power through production reductions or cooperative pricing can require no more than an email or a phone call.'"

November 20, 2012
Fox Business Interview with Robert McCullough
Fox Business

"There have been no holes poked in it yet. We have not had a single substantive response. There's this question of 'does a refinery have smoke even if its operating partially?'. We didn't go on the total. We actually went through a device by device analysis. We identified the specific devices that were down and then compared these with the emissions from these devices. Three of the refineries showed a discrepancy in the Bay Area."

video

November 16, 2012
State seeks answers in gas price spikes
San Francisco Chronicle, David R. Baker

"McCullough argued that the state needs refineries to report their planned and unplanned repairs, with that information made readily available to the public. 'Markets work best in the light,' McCullough said. 'For our most critical commodity, we need to make this as open as possible."

November 15, 2012
California lawmakers weigh moves to ensure gasoline supply
Chicago Tribune, Rory Carroll

"'This is a black hole in our energy picture,' he said at a hearing of the state Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation. 'We know very little about what is happening in those markets.'"

November 14, 2012
Study: West Coast refineries operated during gas price spikes
McClatchy Newspapers, Kevin G. Hall

"'It certainly does not prove collusion among the principal suppliers, since specific data by refineries is difficult to procure,' McCullough’s report said. 'However, the data does suggest the need for an investigation on a refinery-by-refinery level.'"

California gas price spikes not tied to refinery outages. Additional article here.

New research shows that refiners continued to produce gasoline in periods when the public was told the contrary. Additional article here.

November 14, 2012
Study: West Coast refineries operated during gas price spikes
USA Today, Michael Winter

"This means that in California, the nation's most populous state, seven major players control most of the supply. They are vertically integrated, refining oil into gasoline and getting involved in the retailing of gasoline in the wholesale market. That system, McCullough said in an interview, lends itself to a market concentration that allows producers to subtly coordinate their prices."

July 30, 2012
Electricity trading probed
The Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler

"'These things are hidden eight levels down in the computer programming,' said Robert McCullough of McCullough Research in Portland. 'If a computer doesn't catch you, you're not caught.'"

July 28, 2012
Steffy: Worst of both worlds likely for Texas power consumers
Houston Chronicle, Loren Steffy

"'At every stage, they go further and further from competitive markets,' Robert McCullough, a Portland, Oregon based energy analyst who follows deregulation issues, told me recently."

July 23, 2012
Steffy: Utility commission forgets the public
Houston Chronicle, Loren Steffy

"'They're basically a license to steal,' said Robert McCullough, a Portland, Oregon based energy analyst who follows deregulation issues. 'They essentially give advanced permission for market behavior that under any other conditions would be outrageous.'"

July 18, 2012
Manipulation of California energy market gives consumers a jolt
Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik

"'There's nothing really new under the sun,' says Robert McCullough, a Portland, Ore., energy expert who reviewed the ISO complaint at my request. 'But it's a cost you're paying in your monthly bill.'"

June 13, 2012
What’s really behind high gas prices?
Oregon Business, Robin Doussard

"Consumers and businesses have all been severely impacted by the high gas prices. It might not be surprising that the reason could be pure greed, but it sure makes the blood boil. Oregon's economic recovery is slow going and this adds insult to injury."

June 13, 2012
Think the fix is in on gas prices? New report may back you up
KATU News, Anita Kissée

"McCullough's new report 'Analysis of West Coast Gasoline Prices' released June 5 says oil refineries may have intentionally created a supply shortage this spring just to charge Northwest drivers inflated prices, and they reportedly made almost $50 million a day because of it."

June 12, 2012
Oregon, Washington gas prices continue to fall as report raises suspicions of market rigging
The Oregonian, Joseph Rose

"Robert McCullough, the Portland analyst who helped topple Enron over predatory electricity trading a decade ago, has issued a report arguing that gasoline prices should have never reached this spring's dizzying, budget-draining heights."

June 11, 2012
Washington Senator Wants Answers On High Gas Prices
Boise State Public Radio, Scott Graf and Kate Elston

"'When that happens in the real world, we’d be pretty suspicious,' McCullough says. 'A local hardware store has a fire and the other hardware stores close and you have to pay $100 to buy a hammer, you’d be calling the local district attorney to look into it.'"

June 8, 2012
Investigation launched into high West Coast gas prices
Dan Kerman, KRON4News

video

"The key question is this: Did a handful of West Coast oil refineries work together to reduce production to cause a spike in gas prices on the West Coast?"

June 8, 2012
High gas prices in the Northwest
Reggie Aqui, KGW News

video

"We do not have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the beat. There is no cop on this beat. We have to rely on our elected officials to ask the Federal Trade Commission to start requesting those materials"

June 7, 2012
High Gas Prices Bring Call for Investigation
McClatchy Newspapers, Kevin G. Hall

"The McCullough Research report, published Tuesday, questioned whether the historically low gasoline inventories on the West Coast were really a result of a fire Feb. 17 that idled the BP plant for about three months."

Senator questions why refineries cut production. Additional article here.

Senator seeks probe into high West Coast gas prices. Additional article here.

Also see the McCullough Research report here.

Also see US Senator Maria Cantwell’s letter to the FTC here.

Also see US Senator Maria Cantwell’s press release here.

May 21, 2012
Keeping the Lights on in Texas: Will big profits spur new power plants?
State Impact, Dave Fehling

"'Texas is the only state in the U.S. that has this curious system,' said Robert McCullough, of McCullough Research in Portland, Oregon. 'Not only are we creating an incentive not to build new plants, we’re creating an incentive that might lead some traders to create artificial shortages. Now, that sounds like a conspiracy theory and it is a bit, but it’s not as if it’s a conspiracy theory that we haven’t seen before.'"


2011

May 20, 2011
In depth: Where next for Cape Wind as loan guarantee is frozen?
Recharge, Richard A Kessler

"Analyst Robert McCulloch argues that the DOE decision is a serious setback for Cape Wind. 'I'm glad I'm not on their side of the table with Wall Street. They still have to finance this and it is not what you would call an easy sell.'"

March 29, 2011
Expert: SNG plant raw deal for ratepayers
The Bloomington Alternative

"Robert McCullough's testimony revealed a complicated 'derivative' scheme based on the price of various commodities over time. Customers are not paying for service, or a natural gas substitute, but instead are paying for a financial hedge to cover the losses and share in the profits, if any, that the plant's owners might make. McCullough's testimony shows that if the contract were in place today, it could lead to a loss to ratepayers of as much as $500 million."

February 15, 2011
Texas grid operator faces questions over blackouts
The Texas Tribune, Kate Galbraith

"A report prepared for AARP in 2009 notes that the Australian market requires disclosure of power plant failures and other related information after two days. Robert McCullough, who heads an Oregon-based research firm that prepared the report, said that, in addition, 'Texas does not make very detailed trading data available on the web as all other U.S. states do.'"

"Transparency in ERCOT: A No-cost Strategy to Reduce Electricity Prices in Texas," the May 5, 2009 report by McCullough Research, can be found here.

January 27, 2011
President Obama sings Deval Patrick's tune
The Boston Herald, Jay Fitzgerald

"Robert McCullough, an Oregon energy analyst, expressed doubt whether the nation, or Massachusetts, can create many jobs by investing public money in clean-energy companies. 'It's not a question of vision, but it's a question of implementation,' said McCullough, saying government has a bad track record of 'backing failures.'"

January 17, 2011
The messed-up wholesale electricity market
The Baltimore Sun, Jay Hancock

"I guess it's hard to blame the generation companies. Why should they build new capacity when it would mess up the present system in which they get paid for merely existing? But it demonstrates a highly flawed wholesale system -- I won't call it a wholesale market because, as Robert McCullough keeps pointing out to me, real markets don't require 400 PJM bureaucrats to set the rules."

January 2, 2011
Feds wind plan may zap Massachusetts
The Boston Herald, Jay Fitzgerald

"'It's very expensive news for New Englanders,' Robert McCullough, an energy analyst in Oregon, said of the announcement last week that the federal government is looking to lease deep-ocean waters for up to 4,000 megawatts of additional offshore wind development."


2010

November 23, 2010
Last big hurdle passed for Cape Wind
The Boston Globe, Beth Daley

"The state Department of Public Utilities gave permission yesterday for National Grid to purchase half of Cape Wind's power, removing the last significant hurdle for construction to begin on the controversial wind farm in Nantucket Sound next year. The agency, however, refused to approve a second agreement for the sale of the project's remaining power. ...'Every time they get one of these halfway results, it reduces their ability to finance,' said Robert McCullough, an Oregon-based energy consultant who is not involved in the Cape Wind project but worked for opponents of a proposed wind farm off Block Island."

Also see Boston.com's The Green Blog post here.

October 24, 2010
Obscure electricity charge enriches power sellers
The Baltimore Sun, Jay Hancock

"A few years ago, grid administrators outside Philadelphia changed the rules for selling wholesale electricity in such a way that Maryland consumers will end up paying an extra $5 billion or so for their kilowatts from 2007 to 2014. ...The money was supposed to lure those companies and others to build generation plants, thus easing electricity shortages. But the generators haven't been built. ...'It is a joke,' says Robert McCullough, an economist and energy consultant hired by the Illinois attorney general to analyze similar electricity charges in that state. 'We can say without any question that it is completely outlandish.'"

October 4, 2010
Cape Wind rates will whack businesses, hospitals, schools
The Boston Herald, Jay Fitzgerald

"[A] review of National Grid's own estimates of the above-market prices it would pay for Cape Wind power shows that local businesses, nonprofits and other large energy users will be paying far more [than the estimated $1.25 a month increase for residential customers] - in some cases as much tens of thousands of dollars per year. And experts say most of those costs will be passed on to the same consumers who, as rate- and taxpayers, will be paying for the cost of planting the turbines off Nantucket Sound - and footing higher energy bills once the project is running. 'As they say, there are lies, damned lies and statistics,' said energy analyst Robert McCullough. 'This is a very expensive project.'"

August 5, 2010
PUC UPDATE: 'I don't know what we'll decide'
The Block Island Times, by Jane Vercelli and Steve Stycos

"Tuesday's final witness [at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission hearing], energy expert Robert McCullough, testified on behalf of seven citizens of Block Island and North Kingstown, including Republican state Rep. Lawrence Ehrhardt, who oppose the project. McCullough said the power purchase agreement was not commercially reasonable because it estimates costs without stating what equipment would be used on the project. 'We don't know where the prices are coming from,' he stated, 'We don't even know what the equipment is.'"

August 4, 2010
Deepwater Contract Criticized
The Providence Journal, by Peter B. Lord

"[In written testimony, Robert] McCullough said he found the prices in the [proposed contract governing how National Grid would buy electricity from a wind farm developed by Deepwater Wind off Block Island] are significantly higher than prices for similar projects either under way or recently completed in Europe. 'The cost figures give the appearance of being reverse-engineered from a required rate of return rather than derived from basic engineering estimates. The rate of return seems high with any reasonable level of leverage, and due diligence by the purchaser was lacking. Finally, the proposed contract's pricing sections are poorly written and several other sections may contain drafting errors.'"

August 4, 2010
PUC Holds hearing on Deepwater Contract
The Providence Statehouse Exhaminer, by Ryan Drugan

"As state leaders give their support for the Deepwater contract agreement with National Grid, small business and concerned citizens voice their opposition. 'The cost figure give the appearance of being reverse-engineered from a required rate of return rather than derived from basic engineering estimates,' stated Robert McCullough an energy consultant from Oregon working on the Block Island wind farm project. McCullough commented that the agreement between Deepwater and National Grid is written poorly, contains numerous errors, and lacks key information regarding maintenance costs and the type of turbines that will be constructed."

August 2, 2010
New York Attorney General Urges Probe of Electric Costs
Bloomberg BusinessWeek, by Michael Virtanen

Richard Brodsky, candidate for Attorney General for the state of New York, cited a McCullough Research report that analyzed the bidding at the New York Independent System Operator and found that "every day at least one producer submits maximum $1,000 bids, while production costs even with expensive fuels like natural gas are significantly less than $100 an hour."

"The New York Independent System Operator's Market-Clearing Price Auction is Too Expensive for New York," the March 3, 2009 report by McCullough Research, can be found here.

July 13, 2010
Keep Energy In Line
The Hartford Advocate, Robert McCullough's Letter to the Editor

"Connecticut suffers and Dominion profits from the distorted prices set by the bureaucrats who run the New England Independent System Operator's wholesale electricity markets. These markets need a thorough [overhaul] - starting with making the bids, bidders, and calculations public - so that effective competition can bring Connecticut's wholesale power costs in line with those elsewhere in the United States."

June 22, 2010
The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power: America is entering a nuclear "renaissance," but can we afford it?
The Hartford Advocate, by Daniel D'Ambrosio

Although the Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford near New London produces about 55 percent of the electrical power generated in the state, there is little incentive for Connecticut legislators to encourage new nuclear plants. According to Rep. Vicki Nardello, (D-Prospect), "under the rules of the state's deregulated market Millstone can charge the same for its power as a power plant fueled by natural gas, the most expensive source of power." An analysis by McCullough Research has shown that Dominion Resources, the Virginia-based company that owns Millstone, "made $440 million in 2009 before taxes, yielding a 57-percent rate of return on investment and a return on equity of 115 percent."

June 14, 2010
Cape Wind-fall Up on Cards
Stock Watch, by Narendra Jakhad

"Developers in Cape Wind could make massive gains by selling off their rights to the wind farm proposed. ...It is said to be a common practice amongst energy companies to arrange for all necessary permits and new power plant financing before turning it over to other investors even as the projects are ready to go. Robert McCullough who is an energy expert at the McCullough Research center in Oregon, feels this is how entrepreneurs work and there is nothing unethical about a rapid turnover in the energy business."

June 13, 2010
Could be a Cape Wind-fall: Turbine developers sell Texas project after gettin OKs
The Boston Herald, by Jay Fitzgerald

"Cape Wind developers could make big bucks if they sold off the rights to the proposed offshore wind farm, as they did last year when they unloaded a new wood-burning power plant in Texas before construction even began. ...A spokesman for the controversial Cape Wind project off the coast of Cape Cod says the developers have every intention of seeing the project through to the end ...[b]ut experts say its common practice for energy companies to line up the necessary permits and financing for new power plants and then turn around and sell ready-to-go projects to other investors. "Rapid turnover is the name of the game in the energy business," said Robert McCullough, an energy expert at McCullough Research in Oregon. "It's often the smart play. There's nothing unethical about it. It's how entrepreneurs work."

May 18 , 2010
Cape Wind's Plan B? You pay if federal tax credit falls through, electric rates will rise
The Boston Herald, by Jay Fitzgerald

"Tucked in National Grid's 159-page rate filing is an appendix calling for Cape Wind's proposed first-year rate to rise from 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour to 22.8 cents - or by 10 percent - if the developer can't secure a lucrative, investment tax credit. Robert McCullough, an Oregon energy consultant, said the back-up rate hikes are 'not outlandish' - and they're perhaps necessary if Cape Wind is ever to get built."

May 11 , 2010
Higher rates blowing in: Cape Wind contracts could generate $6B tab over 15 years
The Boston Herald, by Jay Fitzgerald

"The controversial Cape Wind project could end up costing ratepayers as much as $6 billion over 15 year - and provide utilities with multimillion-dollar bonus incentives if they buy electricity from the planned off-shore wind farm...'By any standard, this is a very high price for energy,' said Robert McCullough, president of McCullough Research, an Oregon energy consulting firm."

May 8 , 2010
Cape Wind rate shock: Electricity will cost twice as much as power plants
The Boston Herald, by Jay Fitzgerald

"Cape Wind, which wants to build 130 wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod, and National Grid announced yesterday that they’ve reached an agreement to start charging customers 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2013 - more than double the current rate of electricity from conventional power plants and land-based wind farms.....'I'm glad it's your electric bills and not mine,' said Robert McCullough, president of McCullough Research, an Oregon energy consulting firm, referring to Cape Wind’s prices."

April 13, 2010
Alliance touts power of few rules
The New Haven Register

"A study...contends that Connecticut has received substantial benefits from the deregulation of its electrical industry in 2000...But according to Robert McCullough, managing partner of McCullough Research of Oregon, "month after month, electric rates continue to increase in Connecticut."

April 8, 2010
Indian Point is a Cash Cow
Jonathan Fahey, forbes.com

"It may cost $1 billion to change the way the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point on New York's Hudson River keep themselves cool in order to satisfy environmental protection regulators. Sounds like a bundle of money, and it is...But don't shed too many tears for the plants' owner, Entergy. The plants are cash cows. According to an analysis done by longtime utility consultant and analyst Robert McCullough, in 2009 the two reactors brought in $982 million in sales and $436 million in profit before income taxes."

April 3 , 2010
Power outage questions probed
SignOnSanDiego.com, Onell R. Soto, Union-Tribune Staff Writer

The reasons behind the shut-off of the Otay Mesa plant on April 1st remain unclear. SDG&E and state grid operators are still investigating what happened. "Rules for running an electricity grid call for redundancies — generally the system has to have enough backuppower to be able to take the loss of its biggest power plant or transmission line plus 5 percent, said Robert McCullough, a utility consultant in Portland, Ore.
San Diego has just two connections to the rest of the grid, so managing supply and demand here is easier than elsewhere...'The hypothesis that comes up … is somebody entered the wrong number into the computer,' he said."

March 17 , 2010
Lawmakers look at energy cost
The New Haven Register, by Luther Turmelle

"[T]he operator of the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford--Dominion Energy of Virginia--would be subject to the [windfall profits tax proposed by Connecticut bill HB 5505], according to a report prepared for the Energy and Technology Committee by McCullough Research, a Portland, Ore., consulting firm.

"Dominion's net pre-tax profit from the Millstone 3 generating unit was $440 million in 2009, which translates into a 57 percent rate of return on the company's investment and a return on equity of 115 percent, according to the report."

March 14 , 2010
Smart power meters? Well, sure. Someday.
Baltimoreson.com, by Jay Hancock

" 'There are a lot of simple things you can do, and most of them don't require the installation of a handy-dandy meter,' says Robert McCullough, a respected energy consultant and gadget geek. He bought and installed a smart meter on his Portland, Ore., office, but for most people, he thinks smart meters are of questionable value."


2009

December 2, 2009
U.S. consultant backs whistleblower in Hydro audit
CBC News

"Hydro CEO Bob Brennan appeared before a provincial government sub-committee on Nov. 17 and defended the utility against the whistleblower's claims. He said a report from research consultants ICF International shows her allegations are incorrect...But on Wednesday, CBC News obtained a consultant's document from Portland, Ore.- based McCullough Research that said the ICF report contains outdated data and was 'hastily prepared.'"

See also US energy Consultant comes forward to back up Whistleblower, from the Manitoba Post, Wednesday, December 02, 2009

November 8, 2009
The Shocking Truth: One politician stopped electric rate reform
By Paula Panzarella, The New Haven Register

"There were extensive discussions and presentations in the Energy and Technology Committee as to how renewable energy could be developed and encouraged by the state. Many Connecticut municipalities, environmental groups and businesses took part in the hearings, including AARP, which sponsored Robert McCullough, an energy expert from Portland, Ore., to give a presentation to the Energy and Technology Committee about the concrete way a state energy authority could be developed, and how it would lower electric rates."

October 19 , 2009
Electricity 'Rip-Off' is $hocking
"Without even selling one watt of power, three electricity-generating companies managed to rip off New Yorkers for an untold amount of money, the state’s powergrid operator says in a shocking admission to federal regulators. It’s the latest bigbucks cash grab alleged to have happened right under the nose of the New York Independent System Operator, whose bungles are estimated to have cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars... The ISO won’t disclose how much money is involved, when the overcharges happened, or the names of the three companies.
"

September 14, 2009
NYISO seeks changes to energy bidding
"Three upstate power providers may have cost consumers money by artificially inflating auction bids, the nonprofit that operates the state’s power grid has told federal regulators.  An independent study released earlier this year alleges that New York’s consumers pay $2 billion a year more than they should for electricity because the state’s auction system is flawed.
The study by Robert McCullough of McCullough Research in Oregon was made public in March by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Westchester. McCullough is the energy expert who helped uncover Enron Corp.’s energy market manipulation."

September 11, 2009
3 Generators may have cost consumers
"It turns out that you may have been paying too much for your electricity bill after all.  The New York Independent System Operator, the North Greenbush nonprofit that operates the state's wholesale
electricity market, has told federal regulators that three power plants in upstate New York may have been trying to inflate profits by making artificially high bids.
The NYISO won't publicly reveal the names of the generators -- or just how much they might have cost
consumers."

June 5, 2009
Report: Deregulation of electricity yields big profits for companies, costs NY ratepayers
"New York's deregulated electric market allows generation plants to reap massive profits at the expense of taxpayers, according to a report released Friday.
Industry representatives rejected the findings that the state's top 15 generators received inflated profits.
Assembly corporations committee Chairman Richard Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat, said the generators have an annual rate of return between 31 and 186 percent. Brodsky released the report with
Robert McCullough, whose firm McCullough Research conducted the study.
"These are unconscionable numbers. No other industry has a profit margin averaging anything near these numbers annually," Brodsky said.

May 5, 2009
Report Calls for More Transparent Texas Wholesale Market
"The deregulated electricity market in Texas has been a bust for consumers due to a poorly structured wholesale market and a lack of transparency, according to a McCullough Research report prepared for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
While deregulated market defenders have said high prices in Texas last year were the result of high natural gas prices, the McCullough report said that's not the case."

April 22, 2009
McCullough finds bids in RTO markets are often ‘100 times higher than common sense would expect’
"The balancing energy markets run by regional transmission organizations often are plagued by hockey stick bids that can be “a hundred times higher than common sense would expect,” energy consultant Robert McCullough said in a report, Analysis of the Balancing Energy Market. The balancing energy markets frequently set prices in the larger markets at very high levels, he said. At least some non-economic bidding occurs every day in every RTO, he said."

April 9, 2009
Oil: Just What Happened In 2008?
"While oil is arguably the U.S. economy's most important commodity, it is ironic that no agency of the U.S. government has been assigned the task of investigating and explaining the extraordinary price changes of last year."

March 27, 2009
Senate Ponders Legislative Options; FERC Backs Preemptive "Cease and Desist" Authority
"Although we fear that the oil market may have become dominated by speculators, we do not know who they are, or their possible impacts," explained Robert McCullough. Oil, natural gas and the electricity industry are interconnected with commensurate effects on the entire economy.  According to McCullough, the inability of the federal government to fully investigate oil price behavior in 2008 is fundamentally a data problem, and the legislation that Congress is considering "is a step in the right direction," as it will expand the EIA's ability to track oil inventories within the U.S. by owner.

March 22, 2009
The Case Against Fowler's Bonanza
"Besides, McCullough notes, "The outrage you're seeing, unfortunately, is occurring after the storm is over." With board and shareholder approval, Fowler has already sailed off with the $4.5 million."

March 19, 2009
Assemblyman Blasts NYISO Over Rates
"New Yorkers pay some of the highest electric rates in the nation – 45 percent higher than the national average. Critics say there's something funny with the way electricity is bought and sold.
MCCULLOUGH: If you walked into the local grocery store and you found that a loaf of bread was $1000, you’d have a pretty good sense that something was wrong with that grocery store."

 

March 12, 2009
You Are Too Stupid To Understand Electricity Prices Say Utilities CEOs
"The story quotes multiple executives saying electricity pricing is "complicated." Darn right it is. But because utilities won't clearly explain what's happening, perhaps for fear of being exposed, consumers are expected to just accept on face value what's happening to them. With the coming changes in energy, consumers might not accept higher prices for much longer.
"

March 10, 2009
Investigate this shocking charge: Is there Enron-style manipulation of N.Y. electric bills?
"Are New Yorkers really being ripped off to the tune of more than $2 billion a year on their electric bills?
Energy expert Robert McCullough thinks so. And he has a track record of sniffing out hanky-panky in the power grid. McCullough, a consultant based in Portland, Ore., was among the first to blow the whistle on the Enron scandal - correctly diagnosing the brazen market manipulation that triggered spikes and brownouts across California in the late 1990s.
"

March 6, 2009
Assembly Committees Hold Hearing to Discuss NYISO Practices and High Electric Prices
"A joint hearing by the Assembly Committee on Energy and the Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions was held on March 5th to discuss the practices of the New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”). The NYISO is a not-for-profit corporation that began operations in 1999, operating New York’s bulk electricity system and administering the wholesale electricity markets. The Assembly Corporations Committee, chaired by Richard Brodsky, held a press conference earlier in the week to release a study conducted by McCullough Research showing that due to the
NYISO’s spot market rules and practices, New Yorkers paid $2.2 billion a year in artificial and unnecessary electricity rates on their electric bills.
"

March 4, 2009
Assemblyman Blasts NYISO Over Rates
"The 11-page study Brodsky touted was done by McCullough Research, an Oregon energy-consulting firm run by Robert McCullough."

"...'What you have here is price fixing,' Brodsky said. 'Elegant price fixing. Even if there is not collusion, the system is nutty.'"

February 26, 2009
Washington Wind Power Headed to California
"People who believe you can follow the green electron down the line" may bristle at the thought of selling that power out of state, says Robert McCullough, a Portland energy consultant. But in fact, "once you put them on the grid, you can't tell them apart -- a green electron and a brown electron are just figments of our imagination."

February 25, 2009
Blumenthal Presses for State-Run Power Authority
"The report, prepared for AARP by McCullough Research of Portland, Ore., recommends creating a state power authority modeled after the new Illinois Power Agency."
"AARP's report outlines how a Connecticut Power Authority could bring competition and better serve the interests of the state in lowering energy rates for consumers and businesses."

January 14, 2009
Expert Finds Flaws in Cost-benefit Analysis of ERCOT Market
Overhaul

"A key cost-benefit analysis examining the pending overhaul of the Texas wholesale power market in ERCOT is of questionable accuracy, with a national expert finding errors, unreasonable assumptions, discrepancies and a shortage of economic logic.
"


2008

December 15 , 2008
Rell Can Put Her Own Stamp on DPUC
"With two vacancies on the state Department of Public Utility Control, and the likelihood of a third by the middle of next year, Gov. M. Jodi Rell has an opportunity to remake the regulatory agency in a way that she might find more to her liking."

"Look for someone with real business experience, someone who is a real-life problem-solver," said Robert McCullough, managing partner of Portland, Ore.-based McCullough Research, an energy consulting firm. "The best state regulator is someone with a healthy dose of common sense, someone who is straight forward. That common sense is something you need; what you do not need is a career bureaucrat."

September, 2008
CFTC Staff Report on Commodity Swap Dealers & Index Traders
Page 62: "Robert F. McCullough, Jr., McCullough Research, August 2008 There is a strong possibility that the high level of concentration in the spot and future oil markets have made the market strategies of the principal market participants more significant than fundamentals – at least in the short term."

September 15 , 2008
Cantwell Says She's Working to 'Shed Light' on 'Dark' Oil Markets
"'This is exactly the same pattern Enron's manipulations showed in 2000 to 2001,' McCullough said in a statement. 'The CFTC's report misses the fundamental issue by restricting their analysis to periods before the July 2008 price spike. When the bandit leaves the bank, the money leaves with him.'
Masters and McCullough are among six witnesses scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Cantwell is a member." -- Christopher Dunagan, Kitsap Sun

September 11 , 2008
Are We Screwing in the Wrong Bulbs?
"Unfortunately, the argument is bogus, says Robert McCullough, a former
Portland General Electric executive. That’s because using less electricity
does not mean less coal is burned. Since coal is cheap, power companies
tend to keep their coal-fired plants running day and night; when demand
for electricity ebbs, they cut back on more expensive natural gas, not coal.
"

August 26, 2008
PSC to rule on Iberdrola request -- Democrat and Chronicle
"Once you have the energy and transmission, there are any number of clever things you can do," said Robert McCullough, managing partner of McCullough Research of Portland, Ore. "The (PSC) staff is
entirely correct."

July 12 , 2008
Top wholesale power rates leads to jolts
"Robert McCullough... says the energy-only market could tempt manipulation efforts, such as generators withholding power from the grid to narrow the gap between supply and demand and make it more likely a high bid will be accepted." -- Tom Fowler, Houston Chronicle

April 28, 2008
FOX 5 Investigates Power Prices

FOX 5, Washington, DC interviews Robert McCullough about the failures of Maryland's electricity procurement auction.

April 7, 2008
Connecticut Lawmakers Warned of Power Missteps
"As they grapple with consumer unrest over high electricity rates, Connecticut lawmakers were urged by a consultant to create a state power authority to bring down costs and stabilize the energy sector..... Robert McCullough warned against repeating mistakes made in California as well as in the Northeast." -- Rich Nemec, Power Market Today

March 28, 2008
BGE Settlement Settles Little
"As the governor who promised to stop the BGE rate increase and got hammered for failing, Martin O'Malley surely must be happy to get something back for customers. But he might have gotten more....
'The price is surprisingly high,' McCullough Research wrote. -- Baltimore Sun, Jay Hancock

March 16, 2008
The Power Drain: The Pinch at Home - Many Residents Stung by High Cost of Utilities
"According to a national analysis by McCullough Research for municipally owned utilities, electricity rates in deregulated states rose almost 40 percent, compared with 19 percent in states that remain regulated."
-- Washington Post, Kirstin Downey

February 21, 2008
Societe Generale Trader posts record loss on trading scandal, subprime exposure
"Societe Generale's report detailed how the trader Jerome Kerviel offset his real positions in the market by creating fictitious hedged positions that eventually were discovered."
-- International Herald Tribune, Nicola Clark

January 10 , 2008
New Study on Missing Benchmark
"The gap between electricity rates in regional transmission states and non-RTO states is widening and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to reinstate a missing benchmark to analyze the problem, says a new study... by Robert McCullough and Ann Stewart of McCullough Research. "
-- APPA Public Power Daily


2007

October 14, 2007
Is energy fox minding the henhouse?
"This month, after revealing that electricity rates could surge 35 percent for residents and up to 43 percent for businesses in 2010, PPL Corp. shrugged off responsibility for the looming hike, saying it does not set prices -- the marketplace does. But the energy industry plays a critical role in policing the power market, which means the fairness of prices depends on the industry's integrity and good faith....At the same time, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission examines some, but no longer all, wholesale electricity rates to ensure they are 'just and reasonable.'... Experts, however, have put forth a number of reasons why the power market might result in inflated prices.... 'The secrecy in itself is a big part of the problem,' said Robert McCullough, an electricity consultant who advised the Illinois attorney general. 'Anytime you do things in a back room, you have created incredible potential for abuse.'"
-- Morning Call, Sam Kennedy

August 8, 2007
Let's see why grid watchdog barked
"
Here in Central Maryland we just got a 72 percent electric-price pop. We want as clear a view of our deregulated electricity market as Californians got of theirs after the Enron debacle, and this case looks like it'll help.  PJM is the nonprofit Pennsylvania company that supervises the grid and runs the wholesale electricity market from New Jersey to North Carolina.  Maryland and other states have sought redress with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over claims by PJM market monitor Joseph Bowring that his bosses silenced him when he wanted to report price irregularities and outsized profits at generation companies. They want Bowring's operation made independent.  PJM's apparently panicked offer to settle, disclosed Thursday, suggests that some very interesting evidence will surface if the case is pursued .... A lot of people would actually like to see the full set of information" at PJM, says Robert McCullough, an energy consultant who was deeply involved in the Enron case out West. "If we're going to live with this institution the rest of our lives, it's pretty important that we understand what's going on with it." -- Baltimore Sun, Jay Hancock

June 26, 2007
Ex-Enron Customers Win One in Court
"Snohomish County Public Utility District prevailed against Enron -- again -- last week when an administrative law judge ordered the bankrupt energy giant to disgorge $1.6 billion in illegal profits made from customers of West Coast utilities.
Judge Carmen Cintron also ruled that $157 million in contract termination payments Enron was seeking from Snohomish were 'unjust profits '.... Robert McCullough, a Portland energy consultant who has spent much of the past four years working on Enron-related cases, provided one of two accounting estimates of Enron's energy trading profits used by the judge to reach her $1.6 billion decision. McCullough said that most of
that money came from Northwest consumers and that PGE's customers could be due a sizable refund. PGE was wholly owned by Enron until April 2006. It has never filed a claim on behalf of its ratepayers." -- Oregonian, Ted Slicking

April 17, 2007
Rebuilt PSC begins hearings to probe electricity-rate rise
"A reconstituted state utility commission launches today its first investigation of the electric rate increase that stunned utility customers last year and led to the appointment of several new panel members. . . The initiative lumps Maryland with a handful of states stretching from Delaware to Montana that are scrutinizing deregulated energy markets amid a consumer backlash against rising energy costs. . . .
The state of Illinois blamed flaws in a similar energy auction for soaring energy process among that state's utilities. The Illinois attorney general filed a complaint last month with federal regulators, asking them to investigate allegations of price gouging among wholesale supplies. The complaint contains testimony from Robert McCullough, an energy consultant who said winning bids were 40 percent higher than prices available in the broader market at the time the Illinois auction was conducted." -- Baltimore Sun, Paul Adams

March 16, 2007
Madigan Blows Whistle
"
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Thursday alleged there is evidence of bid-fixing and collusion behind the state's skyrocketing electric rates, and she formally asked a federal regulatory agency to reverse those rates and investigate the power suppliers of two major utilities. In a 31-page complaint filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Madigan lays out what she says is evidence that last year's power auction involving Ameren and ComEd might have been fixed to ensure that specific wholesale suppliers - including the parent companies of both utilities - got the most lucrative parts of that business. . . . Madigan's office said it worked with a team of experts in compiling the complaint, including Robert McCullough, an expert on electricity trading practices who was involved in the federal investigation into Enron's activities in Western electric markets." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kevin McDermott

March 15, 2007
Press Release: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Alleges Price Manipulation in 2006 Electricity Auction
"'
Five million Illinois residents are unnecessarily paying electricity prices that are double the actual cost of generating electricity and 40 percent higher than electricity prices in the wholesale electricity markets,' said Madigan. 'We undertook an extensive investigation to find out why the prices produced by the auction were so high. This complaint follows that lengthy investigation of bidding patterns in the auction.' . . . The analysis prepared by Robert McCullough concludes that the high prices produced by the auction are largely due to a lack of competition in Illinois electricity markets -- which U.S. Department of Justice guidelines classify as 'highly concentrated.' He also uncovered evidence that electricity suppliers engaged in market manipulation – driving prices even higher." -- Office of Lisa Madigan, Robyn Ziegler

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2006

September 27, 2006
Report Says Amaranth Trader May Have Attempted to Corner Market
The article quotes Robert McCullough saying he believes Amaranth attempted to corner the natural gas market and that the "lack of federal oversight" of energy markets and hedge funds by FERC, the CFTC and the SEC, and the CFTC is partially responsible. -- NGI's Daily Gas Price Index

July 11, 2006
Consultant Challenges Economists Over State of Competition
Robert McCullough challenges several economists whose open letter urges policy makers to 'stay the course' on the electric competition. -- NGI's Power Market Today

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June 30, 2006
Economists Express 'Deep Concern' over Wholesale Electricity Prices
Economists Urge Policymakers to "Stay the Course" on Electricity Competition
COMPLETE Letter to Secretary Salas which includes Open Letter to Policymakers
McCullough Research Responds to June 26, 2006 Open Letter to Policymakers

May 25, 2006
FERC Lawyer Denies Part in Enron Trades; She says she did not advise on questionable strategies while working for the energy firm
"A former Enron Corp. lawyer who last month went to work for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday vigorously denied involvement with the company's questionable trading tactics, after two senators raised questions about her hiring. . . More broadly, however, [Robert McCullough States] 'the question is not whether Mary Hain should be indicted,' he said Wednesday. 'The question is whether it's appropriate for a federal regulatory agency to hire a lawyer who had such an intimate role with all these people who we know were committing these frauds.' " -- Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Peterson

May 22, 2006
Gas Price Gouging evidence discovered; Sen. Cantwell Says FTC Report Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
"Following Monday morning's release of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report on post-Katrina gasoline price manipulation, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) renewed calls for increased oil industry transparency and swift approval of her legislation to enact a tough federal ban on gas price gouging. . . In addition to evidence outlined in the FTC report, a recent report by Portland-based energy consultant Robert McCullough found oil and gas market anomalies consistent with a practice known as "wash trading," where simultaneous transactions are executed in order to deliberately inflate volumes and revenues. This tactic was used by the unregulated Enron subsidiary, EnronOnline, to manipulate energy commodity markets."-- U.S. Federal News

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May 9, 2006
Markets vulnerable to manipulation - Testimony
Robert McCullough testifies at a Democratic Policy Committee hearing that "regulating only a few electronic trading platforms is similar to allowing some travelers to skip security checks. . . . Everyone becomes less secure if obvious shortcuts around regulation exist.'" --Megawatt Daily

May 8, 2006
U.S. Senate Dems Seek Greater Energy Trading Oversight
"At a Democratic Policy Committee hearing on energy trading, lawmakers said skyrocketing energy prices are reminiscent of the soaring electricity prices consumers saw in the West during the 2000-01 energy crisis - a time of high power prices, rolling blackouts, and manipulation by Enron Corp.(ENE)."  Robert McCullough suggests, "Congress give the CFTC authority to make sure that electronic trading platforms are registered and regulated." -- Dow Jones International News, Maya Jackson Randall

May 8, 2006
Senator Cantwell Hearing on Energy Market Transparency Exposes Anomalies in Oil and Gas Prices
A press release from the office of Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) says, "A new report from McCullough released at the hearing announced that oil and gas market anomalies exist that are consistent with a practice known as 'wash trading' where simultaneous transactions are executed in order to deliberately inflate volumes and revenues. This tactic was used by the unregulated Enron subsidiary, EnronOnline, to manipulate energy commodity markets." -- United States Federal News

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May 8, 2006
Congress Learns That Enron-Like Market Fraud Still Exists; McCullough Research Uncovers More Enron Trading Schemes
"McCullough Research will tell a Democratic Policy Committee oversight hearing today that U.S. gas and electricity trading is still vulnerable to the market schemes employed by Enron Corporation during California's 2000-2001 energy crisis.  'Widespread opportunities for fraud and manipulation exist today, even though most experts claim California's crisis ended years ago,' says Robert McCullough, manager of McCullough Research." -- Business Wire

May 1, 2006
Energy Crisis Case may set New Rules: Defining Criminal Conduct is at Stake
The article quotes Robert McCullough saying, "'I am not sure it is even possible to identify [trading] loopholes beforehand, let alone plug them,' he said. "Simply put, would you shop at a supermarket where only insiders can check the receipts?'" -- The National Law Journal, Pamela MacLean


April 19, 2006
Kelliher Questioned About FERC's Rehiring of Ex-Enron Attorney and the Agency's Recusal and Internal Communication Policies
"The Los Angeles Times reported on Hain's hiring in its April 8 edition. 'Hain's 'apparent indifference to corruption seems like a very poor qualification as a regulator,' Robert McCullough, a former Portland General Electric executive and energy consultant told the Times.'"-- Foster Electric Report

April 17, 2006
FERC staff defends Enron settlement offer against criticism from Snohomish
and others

"Federal Energy Regulatory Commission trial staff defended itself last week against harsh criticism leveled at the proposed settlement it reached with Enron on compensation Enron should offer to two utilities for market manipulation. FERC trial staff and Enron on March 10 filed offers of settlement to be made by Enron to the Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. . . . The proposed settlement from Enron and FERC trial staff would allocate up to $10 million in Class 6 unsecured claims to 'non-settling participants,' as FERC put it. But that probably would amount to no more than $2.29 million, said Snohomish and Met Water. They reinforced the point with an affidavit from consultant Robert McCullough. 'According to Enron's current bankruptcy plan, the Class 6 unsecured claims will be paid out at the rate of 22.9 cents per dollar. This means the $10 million in unsecured claims obtained by trial staff … is worth $2,290,000,' said McCullough, who has worked for several years with Northwest utility clients."-- Platts Power Markets Week

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April 16, 2006
Ex-Enron lawyer lands in federal energy post; Hiring draws fire; scope of her role at failed firm debated
"At the peak of the California energy crisis, Mary C. Hain was a lawyer at Enron Corp.'s Portland, Ore., trading hub where she had a front-row view of practices that injected chaos into electricity markets and sent rates soaring. She once scribbled: 'Answer questions, say nothing. Answer questions, finger others.' Those notes from October 2000 were reviewed later by investigators looking into market-gaming among the energy traders whom she advised on legal matters. . . . 'As a lawyer, her knowledge of the schemes and apparent indifference to corruption seems like a very poor qualification as a regulator,' said Robert McCullough, an Oregon energy consultant who has scrutinized the actions of Enron employees during
the troubling chapter of 2000-01." -- Chicago Tribune, Johnathan Peterson

April 11, 2006
FERC Spokesman: 'Look at the Facts' in Hiring of Ex-Enron Attorney
"As news broke over the weekend that a former Enron lawyer has been hired at FERC as a trial attorney specializing in technical rate matters, a Commission spokesperson on Monday urged skeptics to 'look at the facts,' and not to attach a 'stigma affecting someone's career just because of the simple fact they worked at Enron." -- Power Market Today

April 10, 2006
PGE Shares Decline on NYSE Trading Debut

"Despite Portland General Electric's recent stock fall of 5% Robert McCullough states, 'PGE is a peach of a utility' and 'the utility itself is in good shape.' This article is not for distribution, please contact the publication directly."  -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tim Fought

April 8, 2006
U.S. Energy Commission Hires Ex-Enron Lawyer
Robert McCullough questions the hiring of former Enron Lawyer Mary Hain by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). -- Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Peterson

March 23, 2006
McCullough Skeptical of Texas Market's Validity
Robert McCullough comments on the Texas Market's lack of transparency, and reminds the readers of past and current market manipulations.  -- Restructuring Today

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February 15, 2006
City Continues to Dig into PGE's Finances
Robert McCullough was interviewed by Ley Garnett as part of an article about Portland General Electric and the City of Portland. Robert McCullough was hired by the City of Portland as a consultant in this matter.  This article is not available for distribution, please contact the publication for a copy.
-- Oregon Public Radio (OPB), Ley Garnett

January 31, 2006
Hunch Becomes a Hunt
PGE's involvement with Enron and its tax payments ".   The goal: to see if the company’s involvement with improper Enron Corp. energy shenanigans has fueled a lasting power-rate hangover for Portlanders. If they find the evidence, Leonard has vowed to bring PGE rates down, using a long-forgotten city ordinance that surfaced only recently. This article is not for distribution, please contact the publication directly.  -- The Tribune, Nick Budnick

January 30, 2006
Enron's Legacy: Scandal Marked Turning Point for Business World; Impact Felt in Energy Trading, Lawsuits, Corporate Governance and Regulations
"As Enron's former top executives face criminal trial in Houston today, the legacy of Enron -- the most sensational corporate fraud scandal in recent history -- still ripples through the business world.  'People are more circumspect because of the criminal convictions, but we've had very few substantive reforms,' says Robert McCullough of energy consulting firm McCullough Research.  This article is not for distribution, please contact the publication directly."  -- USA Today, Edward Iwata

January 23, 2006
Portland Signs on Three Experts to Scrutinize PGE Practices
"Portland officials will dip into funds left over from the failed attempt to buy Portland General Electric to hire three energy experts for an investigation of the utility's rate-setting practices.  All are from the Portland area: Ann Fisher, a lawyer and consultant; Robert McCullough, a nationally recognized expert on wholesale power trading; and David Jubb, a lawyer and accountant. This article is not for distribution, please contact the publication directly."   -- The Oregonian, Gail Kinsey Hill

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2005


September 28, 2005
Welcome to Gastoria
The argument continues on whether new terminals should be build on the Columbia River near Astoria.  While speculation rangers from terrorist threats to spoiled views and environmental concerns few can ignore the rising prices of Natural gas.  The irony to all this is that despite all the hubbub over LNG terminals, we may not need them, says Robert McCullough, a Portland energy economist and former PGE executive who has been heavily involved in a number of high-profile energy fights. This article is not for distribution, please contact the publication directly.  -- Willamette Week, Nick Budnick

July 28, 2005
Energy Bill Could Lead to More Public Power
Oregon Public Broadcasting consults Robert McCullough regarding the potential repeal of the the Public Utility Holding Company Act. "Robert McCullough: When energy prices become uncontrollable and it's impossible to audit private companies, the only solution is to find a governmental alternative. That's why we have municipal utilities all the way up and sown the I-5 corridor." --OPB, Ley Garnett

July 23, 2005
Power Grid Holds Up as Demand Escalates
Robert McCullough comments on California plant shutdowns and the Stage 2 Emergency declared for Southern California on July 22, 2005.  "A power plant voluntarily shutting down in California in late July is like Nordstrom closing shop the day before Christmas to paint its ceilings," McCullough said. The California ISO is criticized for failing in advance to buy reserve power.   -- The San Diego Union-Tribune, Craig D. Rose

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May, 2005
Power Play
In an article about the California energy crisis and Enron's market manipulations, Robert McCullough "warns that the gaming may not be over." -- Portland Monthly, Pamela Maclean

April 4, 2005
One False Move
For years, investing legend David Bonderman could do no wrong. And then he tried to buy a utility from Enron.  Like Enron before it, Texas Pacific misunderstood how different Oregon is from a place like Texas, says Robert McCullough, a former PGE executive who is now a utilities analyst." -- Fortune Magazine, Nicholas Varchaver

March 27, 2005
Grandma Millie, Meet the Detectives: An Unlikely Team Unmasks Enron
A description of the investigation by Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 into market manipulation schemes discovered in taped recordings of Enron traders' conversations. -- LA Times, Jonathan Peterson

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February 14, 2005
Higher power prices would harm industries here, study says
Robert McCullough comments on the Bush administrations's plan to raise rates in the Northwest. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Neil Modie

February 14, 2005
Study sees job cuts in power-rate plan
"The proposed price increase would, in some ways, mimic the effects of skyrocketing prices witnessed during the West Coast energy crisis of 2000 and 2001, warned Robert McCullough, a Portland-based energy consultant who prepared the report. McCullough works for a number of private companies and utilities that buy power from the BPA.   The crisis drove aluminum smelters to shut down and created havoc with the budgets of local utilities, driving up the bills of ratepayers. With many of the aluminum factories now gone, the brunt of the proposed price increases would be felt by other electricity-intensive industries such as chemical, steel and paper manufacturing, McCullough said. Oregon also would lose between 20,000 and 30,000 jobs, according to McCullough. -- The Seattle Times, Warren Cornwall

February 3, 2005
Script foretells Enron debacle
"In one of the ironies of the Enron saga, company officials in February 2001 reviewed a script created by InnoVision Communications that depicted unscrupulous gas traders at work. The script even has one-time Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeff Skilling being handed a subpoena. "In hindsight, the script is unintentionally humorous," Robert McCullough, managing partner of Portland, Ore.-based McCullough Research, told federal regulators in a filing this week."  -- Houston Chronicle, David Ivanovich

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2004


June 5, 2004
Cal-ISO Issues Self-Criticism; State electricity agency admits in a report to questionable moves during the energy crisis.
"Robert McCullough, an energy consultant and a Cal-ISO critic, applauded the admissions by Cal-ISO, which he described as "a bit of an apology" from a traditionally secretive group. 'This is a very different document than anything we've ever seen from the California ISO,' . . . . 'I don't think they were crooked. I think it was a situation of bad governance, not of bad ethics.'   -- Los Angeles Times, Elizabeth Douglass

June 3, 2004
Snohomish County, Wash., Utility Contends Enron Tapes Back Case for Refunds
Robert McCullough comments on the effects of Enron's criminal activities. "There was a set of criminal activities that was so aggressive that even the dullest and most honest people showed up around the edges."  -- The Seattle Times, Christopher Schwarzen

February 18, 2004
Analysts like one post-Enron company; remain skeptical of the other
"The question is how much economic value exists for these problem children," said Robert McCullough, a forensic accountant and energy industry  analyst who has combed through some of Enron's convoluted finances. 'In the absence of an arm's-length transaction, valuation of these assets is dangerously speculative.'"  -- Associate Press, Kristen Hays

January 12, 2004
ENRON TRIALS COULD CONCERN PGE CRIMINAL TRIALS OF FORMER EXECUTIVES MAY SHED NEW LIGHT ON THE PORTLAND UTILITY'S
PAST ENERGY TRADING PRACTICES

The article mentions Robert McCullough's interest in following the Enron trials.   -- The Oregonian, Gail Kinsey Hill

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2003

 

December 30, 2003
Enron loses bid for SEC exemption
Robert McCullough says. "For PGE to argue that it has a major trading operation and is primarily intrastate at the same time would certainly stretch the facts".  -- The Seattle Times, Amy Strahan Butler

November 19, 2003
http://www.chron.com/
Robert McCullough comments on the purchase of Portland General Electric in November 2003.   -- Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger

September 19, 2003
Enron's new revamp plan will pay more to creditors
The article discusses Enron's amended reorganization plan and speculation about how much Enron's creditors would recover. -- Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News

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August 15, 2003
Analysis: Blackout that's sweeping across the Northeast, Midwest and parts of Canada
Robert McCullough's appeared on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" discussing the 2003 Northeast blackout.   'Well, we've been here before. In 1965, we had a blackout about half this size that affected the same states and provinces. In that  case, Congress and the Federal Power Commission, what's now called FERC, took several months to get to the bottom of it. This is not the sort of situation where you can get on the Web and find an arrow. Someone has to walk through each piece of equipment in each utility. The timing is critical. The sheer complexity of it is unbelievable. Unlike the rest of the world, we have integrated the electric system from Saskatchewan to Florida, from New Orleans to Montreal, so it's a big machine.'  -- National Public Radio, Talk of the Nation, Neal Conan

February 26, 2003
Prices climb for power on spot market | Increases may eventually put pressure on retail rates
"Robert McCullough was one of the first people to cite causes of the 2000 energy crisis.   Robert McCullough, a Portland-based energy consultant who was among the first to argue that the market was rigged during the crisis, said natural gas prices are also being driven higher by a switch from the use of oil -- whose price has also risen sharply -- and stockpiling of natural-gas supplies. He agreed that hydropower is also in shorter supply than usual at this time."  -- The San Diego Union-Tribune, Craig D. Rose

January 28, 2003
Enron Trial has Captive Audience in Oregon
"When the capstone trial exploring Enron's spectacular meltdown begins Monday in Houston, an extraordinary array of Portland-area residents will closely watch for new insights into the corporate debacle.  Portland-based energy consultant Robert McCullough, who continues to advise clients on issues related to the 2000-01 power crisis, also says the high-profile trial could unloose new trading details."  --  The Oregonian, Gail Kinsey Hill

January 3, 2003
Utilities Resume Power Trading: State ends two year run of electricity buying
Robert McCullough comments on the state of California's energy market.   "Things may get stranger before they get better, but we are gradually returning to a normal world," said Robert McCullough, a Portland, Ore.-based  utility consultant who has studied California's power crisis.  -- The Oakland Tribune, Daniel Taub

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2002


December 20, 2002
Big-ticket long-term power buy is upheld
Robert McCullough comments on FERC's obligation to West Coast consumers.  "This is a situation when we have had energy traders who have pleaded guilty to wire fraud and energy firms that have settled court charges for enormous amounts, but FERC cannot find a connection between that and the overcharges," McCullough said.  -- The San Diego Union-Tribune, Dean Calbreath

December 13, 2002
Overcharges in Calif. Estimated; Energy Firms Faulted, but $1.8 Billion Sum Is Less Than Sought
Robert McCullough says FERC's rulings are scattershot: "We have completely inconsistent rulings from different cases." -- The Washington Post, Peter Behr

December 9, 2002
Settlement Reveals Another Enron Strategy The tactic, dubbed 'Thin Man,' comes out in a proposal between El Paso Electric and Federal
Regulators.

Robert McCullough says: "Thin Man didn't get a lot of use because Fat Boy and other techniques designed to make the state grid operator think it was running out of electricity were  more profitable". . . . "The premise was to make sure the PX was always short." -- Los Angeles Times, Nancy Rivera Brooks

November 27, 2002
California Cal-ISO Says Enron Didn't Force Blackouts
"McCullough characterized Cal-ISO's report as an attempt to spare itself embarrassment because of miscalculations. 'They wrestled the gun away from Enron, pointed it at their own feet and started blazing away'" --Los Angeles Times, Nancy Rivera Brooks

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November 12, 2002
A Big Victory by California in Energy Case
"Robert McCullough, who runs an energy consulting firm in Portland, Ore., that has been investigating the California energy crisis for major energy users, said that, all in all, Williams appeared to be getting off relatively lightly.  ''The value seems low to me,'' he said. ''Williams had one of the biggest footprints in California. They appear all over the place with possible antitrust issues. So I'm not surprised they'd want to settle.'' -- New York Times, David Barboza


November 12, 2002
Marketplace News
"Robert McCullough recently appeared on nationally broadcasted radio program "Marketplace" to give his thoughts on California energy markets.   'The big profits were correlated to market abuses in California and neighboring regions. Now that the abuses have ended, no one seems to be able to make a dime.'  -- National Public Radio(NPR), Marketplace, Steve Tripoli

October 21, 2002
Brazen Trade Marks New Path of Enron Probe
The article is about trading manipulations by Enron's Tim Belden. -- Wall Street Journal, John R Wilke and Robert Gavin

September 25, 2002
Dynegy to Settle Trading Charges; SEC - Gas Deals misled investors about trading activities
Robert McCullough says "The good news is that one body of the federal government has investigated the quantity, but we've yet to get a report on the price issue."  -- Chicago Tribune, Melita Marie Garza

May 7, 2002
Memo Shows Enron Role in Hiking Prices Electricity: 'Smoking gun' document by company lawyers reveals tactics that helped create energy shortage in California last year
"It's one thing for economists to state that these things are happening. . . .It's another thing for there to be internal documents on the table stating these things are happening [says Robert McCullough]. " -- Los Angeles Times, Nancy Rivera Brooks

May 6, 2002
Enron Knew Foreign Assets Had Declined
Robert McCullough on Whitewing, one the financial creation that was designed to mislead investors-- The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Smith

May 5, 2002
Interview by Steve Curwood, Living on Earth
Robert McCullough was interviewed on Living on Earth, regarding his testimony at the Senate hearings early in the Enron investigation. -- National Public Radio, Living on Earth, Steve Curwood

February 1, 2002
Memos Show Enrons Hands in California Crisis
Robert McCullough says that, "Enron traders deliberately tried to create the appearance of shortages and congestion, prompting declarations of power blackouts that need not have been called in some cases."  -- Washington Post, Peter Behr

January 20, 2002
How 287 Turned Into 7: Lessons in Funny Math
Robert McCullough comments on Enron and California: "We Don't really know where reality sets in at Enron." --  New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson

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2001

June 1, 2001
Commodities Electricity Prices Fall on California Energy Crisis
Robert McCullough comments about the effects of conservation and "voluntary relinquishing of supplies by companies that switched to market-based rates" in the Pacific Northwest: "Virtually all of the aluminum and titanium production and half the magnesium has shut. That's 3,000 megawatts of load, and we've lost a lead smelter, chemical mill and paper mills." -- Dow Jones, Mark Golden

January 31, 2001
Huge Bets paved way to Enron's downfall
Robert McCullough says that Enron "showed some financial transaction going out 23 years, which is preposterous, of course. I call it pricing by rumor." -- Chicago Tribune, Flynn McRoberts

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2000

November 2, 2000
California Investigators Looking At WSCC Data On Generators
"The California Public Utilities Commission, whose investigation of high prices in the wholesale power market continues, requested and received data this week on power production by independent generators in the state, according to the CPUC's manager of the investigation, Steven Weissman. The CPUC got the data from McCullough Research, a consulting firm in Portland, Oregon, which has been claiming that independent generators have been gaming the system." -- Dow Jones Newswires, Mark Golden

July 26, 2000
Officials Probe Rising Cost Of Electricity
"Amidst growing concern in the rise in prices, the Western Systems Coordinating Council refused to share its data on generation and transmission. Robert McCullough comments 'Either everybody is way, way off on our forecasts and we're headed for blackouts in August, or somebody is severely manipulating the market,' Mr. McCullough says. 'The only way to tell is to get this information and sift through it.'" -- The Wall Street Journal, Rob Eure

February 9, 2000
BPA Plan for Power Lines Gets Static From Utilities
Robert McCullough evaluates Bonneville Power Administration plans to create an nonprofit administrative organization to manage high-voltage electric lines, and the potential to increase costs. -- The Wall Street Journal, Rob Eure

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