- A P.U.D. protects
our local business from high rates. PGE business customers pay
rates in the Pacific Northwest.
assets: PGE owns an
interest in several dams, some thermal generating plants and
some coal-fired plants. All of these
could be sold to a non-regulated company to raise more money
creditors. If Enron sells the assets out from under rate regulation,
which is allowed under federal bankruptcy law, rates will
increase by another $300-400 million a year. Indefinitely.
Pacific Intertie: This
transmission line is an asset that makes money for PGE by moving electricity
Canada, the Pacific Northwest and California.
It reduces PGE ratepayer costs by an average of $140 million a year.
When the Intertie is sold, the new owner gets the $140 million in net
revenue, not us. Our electricity costs will increase by that amount automatically.
will have no source of electricity after the generation assets are sold.
It will have to buy 100% of its power on the open market; completely
susceptible to the whims of the market.
The time to
act is NOW. Under federal bankruptcy law, the OPUC can't
prevent the sale of PGE's assets out from under state rate regulation.
Once the assets are sold, they are gone for good.
PGE, and its customers,
will be left with something however: empty distribution lines in the
legal liabilities stemming from numerous lawsuits
over Enron's crimes, and the dead hulk of the Trojan Nuclear Power
Plant (and over $250 million in costs to dispose of Trojan's high-level
take OPPC's word for it. Read
the article in the Sept 19th Portland Business Journal. The PBJ
conducted its own independent
research, contacting three outside bankruptcy
experts. The experts agreed with our attorneys. [Link]
Read about the
effect of having generation assets sold out from under state rate
regulation in Montana. [Link]
Read the prior
legal cases we base our conclusions on: In re Pacific Gas & Electric
Co., 283 BR 41 (ND Cal 2002) and In
Public Service Co. of New Hampshire v. State of New Hampshire, 108
BR 854 (D NH 1989). [Link]
- A P.U.D. is
a non-profit entity owned by its ratepayers. It sells energy at its
cost. It does not charge customers for a built-in profit
for shareholders or for income taxes on that profit.
Because it doesn't
have shareholders to please, it reinvests in its infrastructure at
level than privately-owned utilities. In
the recent East Coast blackout, caused by poor maintenance and in the
2001 California energy crisis, caused by market manipulation, many
utilities kept their energy flowing.
We can have both lower rates and a reliable system.
companies enjoy government protection that regular businesses don't enjoy: PGE has a state-granted
territory in which to sell an
essential service. Utility customers can't switch providers.
To offset the advantage
the utility has over its customers, the customers have the right to create
a P.U.D. to buy utility company assets when it
serves the common good. This power is called "eminent domain" (aka "condemnation"). It is given to the public by the Oregon
does not give the voters the right to acquire other non-utility privately-held
Voters cannot "take over" Intel, Nike or your business.
not lose funding from taxes and public purpose
A P.U.D. is required
to pay property taxes and payroll taxes
just as your business does. It's also required by Oregon
law to pay franchise fees. A P.U.D. doesn't pay income
taxes. But then neither has PGE.
is that PGE is collecting money from customers to
pay income taxes that it knows will never be paid to
any government. PGE's
parent company, Enron, has huge tax losses that will
wipe out PGE's
taxable income for years to come. PGE collects the
money from customers in our monthly bills and then pays this
to Enron. In 2003 this
tax money amounts to almost $2 million a week.
Since 1997, PGE
customers have, as of October 2003, paid over $570 million in phony
to Enron that has never been paid to either the federal or state
Meanwhile, our schools have the shortest school year in the nation and
police stations have closed.
Purpose Charges: PUDs aren't subject to Senate Bill 1149,
which requires private utilities to invest at least 3% of their revenue
in "public purposes" – low-income assistance, energy
efficiency programs, etc. PUDs didn't need SB 1149 to force them
to participate in these programs – they already did. Many PUDs spend
at least 3%, and some much more, on public purposes. Furthermore, PGE
contribute this money. It charges you for it. Look on your bill – it's
a separate line item.
County will not lose 2 major corporations because of
PGE and Pacific
Power moving away.
Power isn't the purpose of the P.U.D. The company
can function just as it always has within the P.U.D. boundaries, with no
change for its customers or employees. Moving its headquarters away won't
prevent the P.U.D. from acquiring its assets, if there's a need to
do so. Judy Johansen, Pacific Power's CEO, knows all this; she used
to work for public power utilities.
PGE may or may not
move away. It will still have territory outside Multnomah County to serve.
within Multnomah County will be acquired
by the P.U.D. As required by law, PGE's employees will be offered
jobs by the P.U.D., so those jobs will still be here. Multnomah County
won't lose a corporation; it will gain a well-run, locally-controlled
And a secure energy future for businesses.
A P.U.D. is "business-friendly". Protecting local businesses
from even higher rates, gaining control of the generation assets that provide
most of our electricity, stabilizing our energy supply - all are factors
in creating a more competitive region to keep current businesses & attract