WHY MULTNOMAH COUNTY VOTERS SHOULD FORM

A PEOPLE’S UTITLITY DISTRICT

NOVEMBER 2003 BALLOT MEASURE


TABLE OF CONTENTS:


1. What is the “Enron” problem our community faces?

2. How would a PUD solve the “Enron” problem?

3. How do citizens form a PUD?

4. How would a PUD acquire PGE?

5. What happens if we do nothing?

6. Why must the community mobilize now to support PUD formation in November?



  1. What is the “Enron” problem our community faces?


The problem began in 1996 when Enron, as part of its scheme to manipulate West Coast energy prices, did its con job on regulators and paid off critics to purchase Portland General Electric. Enron promised lower energy rates and plentiful energy supplies. What PGE ratepayers actually got were:



2. How would a PUD solve the “Enron” problem?


A PUD would lower rates by at least 25% immediately. Savings come from:


* removing from our rates the charges for shareholder profits, state and federal

income taxes, and high management salaries

* access to low-cost financing and preferentially priced BPA power


A PUD would put decisions about rates and energy policy directly in the hands of the community:



3. How do citizens form a PUD?


Formation of a People’s Utility District in Oregon is an orderly, step-by-step process provided for in Article XI, Section 12 of our state constitution and described in detail at ORS Chapter 261 – see our website at www.oppc.net (under press coverage).

. The major steps include:


  1. Drawing up of an Electors’ Petition to form a People’s Utility District within described boundaries

  2. Gathering signatures of registered voters of the proposed district equal to 3% of the voter turnout at the most recent gubernatorial election

  3. Certification of signatures by the County Office of Elections

  4. Holding of hearings on boundaries of the proposed district by the County Board of Commissioners

  5. Referral of a PUD formation measure to the ballot by County Board of Commissioners

  6. Holding of the PUD formation election at which voters choose:

    1. to form the People’s Utility District within the described boundaries

    2. to elect 5 members to an initial Board of Directors

    3. to pass a one-time levy to pay for an engineering report (the levy amounts to 30 cents on each $100,000 of assessed property value)


The year-long efforts of the all-volunteer citizen group, the Oregon Public Power Coalition (OPPC), have moved this process to Step 6 in Multnomah County. Identical OPPC citizen efforts are at earlier stages in Clackamas, Yamhill, Washington, Marion and Polk counties.


4. How would a PUD acquire PGE?


We have already paid for many of the assets in our rates. PGE has 100s of millions of dollars of high-cost debt, which can be replaced with low-cost debt. Voters purchasing PGE is similar to a tenant who takes out a loan to purchase the home. With lower cost rates for borrowing, the monthly payments AND the total repayment costs go down. A PUD would be eligible for low-cost financing.


5. What happens if we do nothing?


Enron will continue to own PGE, either directly or as its major shareholder. This means:


ratepayer pockets, never to return to Oregon.



6. Why must the community mobilize now to support PUD formation in November?


It is imperative that citizens who want lower rates, actively support the campaign for a PUD in Multnomah County, for these reasons:

  1. The City of Portland’s effort to acquire PGE through voluntary sale has failed.


  1. The City Council has the authority to condemn PGE’s assets at any time but lacks the political will to do so.


  1. A Multnomah County PUD will have the authority of eminent domain, which it can use to bring PGE to the negotiating table. It will also have the mandate to condemn if necessary.


  1. It’s time to take control! 100,000 VOTES is all we need to finally Kick Enron Out and control our own energy future. To become an active supporter of the Multnomah PUD Campaign visit our website at www.100000votes.com or call us at 503-232-1911.


  1. Register to VOTE. And vote YES on a PUD in November 2003.


Oregon Public Power Coalition

818 SW 3rd Avenue * PMB #1335 * Portland, OR 97204-2405 * 503-970-2069

Donations to OPPC eligible for Oregon individual political tax credit of $50.00.