By Dean Henderson at The IntelHub
(Excerpted from Chapter 9: The Texas Oil Mafia: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)
In 1985 Drexel Lambert S&L crook Michael Milken helped Houston Natural Gas merged with Internorth to create Enron. Kenneth Lay headed Houston Natural Gas and became chairman and CEO of the new company. Enron was the biggest corporate contributor to George W. Bush’s campaign to become Texas Governor. 
Bush won and Texas led the way in a nationwide deregulation of energy markets which Lay advocated. Deregulation allowed Lay to pioneer energy trading. By 1999 Enron monopolized online energy trading via Enron Online. Throughout the political career of George W. Bush, Lay was his largest financial supporter, personally giving Bush $650,000.
In 1993 Wendy Gramm, wife of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm (R-TX), joined the board of Enron where she was chair of Enron’s Audit Committee. Wendy Gramm came to Enron straight from her job as 12-year chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where she ostensibly aided in the cover-up of BCCI, Capcom, Mena drug trade and S&L scandals. At CFTC Gramm’s main task was to oversee the complex derivatives market, a favorite haven for drug money laundering due to its opaque nature.
While Wendy was covering tracks at CFTC, husband Phil was busy blocking key money laundering legislation and pushing for bank deregulation. He pushed passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which severely reduced government oversight of the derivative and futures markets.
Enron, where Wendy Gramm now collected a $200,000 per year stipend, received exclusive regulatory exemptions through the legislation. Section 101 of the Act granted regulatory exemption to on-line energy traders. There was only one such entity – Enron OnLine. One CFTC official stated of Section 101, “everyone called it the Enron exemption”. 
Ken Raisler was a key lobbyist for Enron. Raisler served as general counsel to the CFTC before joining Enron. Currently he is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell – the spook law firm behind the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala.
Enron hired former Clinton Treasury official Linda Robertson to head its Washington offices. Former Montana Governor Marc Racicot joined Enron as a lobbyist. Racicot, whom the Montana Militia has fingered for providing cover for a cocaine ring operating along the Montana/Canadian border while serving as Montana Attorney General, was appointed chair of the Republican National Committee just days before Enron went bust. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were huge Enron lobbyists. 
James Baker, Robert Mosbacher and Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey all lobbied for Enron. James Baker had been hired straight from office as Bush Sr. Secretary of State to lobby the Kuwaiti government on behalf of Enron. Enron received a $600 million contract from Kuwait to build an electrical power plant as a result of his efforts. President Bush Jr. himself earned lucrative fees from Enron for speaking engagements.
Just before Racicot bolted Enron, Sen. Phil Gramm announced his retirement. Enron executives began feverishly selling stock options, which had reached a high of $96/share. In October 2001 Enron froze its employees’ 401K plan, locking them into a downward spiral in Enron’s stock price. On December 2, 2001 Enron declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, making its shares worthless. Ten days later House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) announced his retirement. The Bush Justice Department announced an investigation, but Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the case due to political contributions he received from Enron. Former Enron employee Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson took over the investigation.
No less than fifteen Bush Administration officials owned Enron stock. Enron met at least six times with former Halliburton CEO Vice-President Dick Cheney to help craft a national energy policy.  Enron called Commerce Secretary and former Tom Brown natural gas executive Donald Evans, and Treasury Secretary and former ALCOA executive Paul O’Neill, to ask for a government bailout. On February 17, 2001 Enron executives met with O’Neill just three weeks into his appointment. O’Neill agreed to quash a law that limited Enron’s use of off-shore shell companies to hide losses. 
Enron called Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Kenneth Hebert to pressure him to make a ruling favorable to the company. When Hebert refused President Bush relieved him of his job. Enron CEO Ken Lay was told by Bush to interview four candidates for the FERC post during the Bush transition to the White House. During the 2000 Presidential elections Enron was the biggest corporate funder of the Bush Campaign, giving $113,000 to the campaign, $100,000 for the inaugural ball and $5,000 to the Florida Recount Fund, which was presided over by James Baker. During 1999-2000 Enron doled out $2,439,000 in political contributions.
This was chump change compared to the $20 million Enron had given as bribes to Indian officials in 1993 when it moved into the power generation business in that country’s Maharashta State. Enron snookered the Indians into a deal where they would pay $30 billion to Enron to provide electricity at rates 700% the national average. The Enron Dabhol plant produced the highest priced electricity in India. Maharashta state officials wanted out. The US Ambassador to India chastised officials for even considering backing out of the deal. 
In 1999 the Indians finally sent Enron packing after both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International cited Enron for human rights violations in handling opposition to Dabhol. Amnesty said women were dragged from their homes and beaten by thugs on Enron payroll.
There is a bigger story behind Enron’s failed Dabhol project in India. By the mid-1990’s the Unocal-led Centgas consortium, which proposed the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan natural gas pipeline to supply the Far East, began proposing an alternate route that would terminate at Multan, Pakistan on the Indian border in the heart of disputed Kashmir. A proposed 400-mile extension of the pipeline would bring cheap gas to India to supply the Dabhol plant, allowing Enron to be competitive in the Indian market.