Subj: (no subject)
Date: 1/26/02 8:28:53 PM Pacific Standard Time

"The White House has strongly denied that its energy plan was crafted to help Enron, President Bush's biggest political patron, and has sought to keep the financial scandal around the now-collapsed energy trader from spreading to the Bush administration. The added provision recommended that the U.S. secretaries of state and energy help India maximize its domestic oil and gas production, Waxman said. "The energy plan does not discuss this recommendation or explain why maximizing oil and gas production in India should be a U.S. national energy priority," Waxman said in his letter to Cheney, a copy of which was provided to Reuters. But he asserted that the recommendation "benefited Enron by formally enlisting two Cabinet secretaries in Enron's conflict with the Indian government."

In a joint venture with U.S. companies General Electric and Bechtel, Enron created an Indian subsidiary, Dabhol Power Co. DPC, which was 65 percent owned by Enron, was to build the power plant. Enron was to develop and operate the plant. Bechtel was to design and construct it, with GE supplying the equipment.

To secure supplies of liquefied natural gas for the project, Enron lobbied New Delhi to change its tariff system, which had been designed to discourage energy imports. Enron got India to slash its duty on imports of liquefied natural gas from 105 percent to 15 percent.

With those changes approved, Enron brokered a deal with Qatar to provide the Dabhol plant 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year for 25 years, starting in 1997. "

World: West Asia

Taleban to Texas for pipeline talks

A senior delegation of Afghanistan's Taleban movement has gone to the United States for talks. The delegation is to meet officials of the company which wants to build a pipeline to export gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company -- Unocal in Texas -- said it had agreed with Turkmenistan to sell its gas. Last month an Argentinian company (Bridas) said it would soon sign a deal to build the pipeline.Unocal is said to have already begun teaching Afghan men technical skills. The BBC regional correspondent says a pipeline deal would boost the Afghan economy, but peace must be established first, and that still seems a distant prospect.