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for immediate release february 11, 2003 oregon public power coalition to stage february 12 rally, turn in signatures for creation of people's utility district
Andy the Illuminary to Challenge Larry the Lightbulb

Oregon Public Power Coalition supporters will rally on February 12, 11:00 a.m., on the corner of S.W. Salmon Street and 1st Avenue to display to Enron (disguised as PGE) their signatures to put creation of a Multnomah County People's Utility District (P.U.D.) on the ballot. The Coalition's mascot, Andy the Illuminary, will challenge Enron lackey, Larry the Lightbulb, to a debate on utility rates and on such Enron schemes as "Death Star," "Ricochet," and the one that describes Larry himself: "Fat Boy."

Coalition supporters will then proceed to the Multnomah County Elections Office at 1040 S.E. Morrison Street, to turn in reams of completed purple petitions.

Placing the P.U.D. measure on the ballot on September 16, 2003, requires 7219 valid signatures of registered voters who live in Multnomah County, according to the county's Elections Office. Over 160 volunteers have collected signatures on the petitions.
"Having a P.U.D. on the ballot will also show Enron that the people of Oregon are serious about reclaiming their electric utility," said Liz Trojan. "Enron should know that, if it does not sell all the PGE assets to an Oregon public body quickly and for a reasonable price, the P.U.D. can acquire those assets by eminent domain, no matter what Enron says or does, even if it adds dozens more to the 30 `restructuring specialists' it has already hired at $860,000 annual salary each."

"Enron can dilly-dally all it wants," said Joan Horton. "Then it will face the constitutional powers of a P.U.D., under the direction of an elected board of commissioners with no mission other than to reclaim our utility assets from a corporation famed worldwide for corruption." Linda Williams added: "We, the ratepayers, have already paid over $1.6 billion of PGE's capital costs, in addition to paying all of PGE operating costs and a handsome profit. If we do not secure the utility assets, then this ratepayer investment will be gobbled up by the Enron creditors, mainly Wall Street banks."
PGE is Enron's largest remaining asset and is a major source of cash for Enron. The Enron bankruptcy itself has already eaten up over $300 million in fees for attorneys and financial experts.

Larry the Lightbulb was last sighted huddling with Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, plotting who knows what.

For more information, consult Oregon Public Power Coalition www.oppc.net

Joan Horton 503-998-0862 joan@oppc.net
Linda Williams 503-224-2647 linda@lindawilliams.net
Dan Meek 503-293-9021 dan@meek.net
awespme 12.Feb.2003 08:27



Evil 12.Feb.2003 15:24


Taking over a non-natural resource utility with the power of eminent domain is an abuse of power by government. PG&E put in the hard work and capital to create a robust, reliable and COMPARABLY CHEAP electrical network.

Eminent domain should be reserved for necessity - not simply to shave 5$/month off the public's utility bill. (Not that I agree it will). If a private enterprise had a monopoly on a naturally-occuring resource, such as water, then clearly the public has a strong interest to be in control of that resource and eminent domain< is the proper method to take that control. If a building is a public danger, it would be right to condemn the building. If, for the public good, a city has decided to build a new means of transportation which requires the removal of a number of houses, eminent domain< /may/ be the proper venue.

But it can hardly be claimed to be proper use of eminent domain to seize the assets of a corporation, simply because you don't like the corporation and/or believe the government could do it cheaper. What if the government seized the assets of a small independent newspaper, because they could do it cheaper and the people didn't like the organization?

Besides, I laugh when I hear people honestly proclaim that a PUD will provide cheaper power the PG&E. GOOD LUCK. It'll NEVER happen. The public unions will be all over the new operations, politicians will be make cushy deals, it will be impossible to fire incompetent workers, etc. As it stands now, Portland has very reliable, incredibly cheap power. It's on the order of 50% the national average.

Thank You James! 12.Feb.2003 16:50

Ken Lay

It's nice too get the Enron perspective too. That was Trojaneriffic!

Eminent Domain &amp; YOU! 14.Feb.2003 01:15

nova snowyowl1288@yahoo.com

First it's "PGE", not "PG&E" (which is the electric company in San Francisco).

Second, the electric companies (PGE & Pacific Power) each have state-sanctioned monopoly over this "non-natural" resource. You & I have no choice as to who we buy our electricity from. Therefore the "non-natural" resource argument is irrelevant. Doesn't matter if it's natural or not if you can only get it from one source.

Third, the ratepayers have been paying all along (that would be, oh, for the last 60 years) for ownership of PGE's physical assets. Sure PGE put in the work to "build" the electric company, but not without having costs fully compensated by its customers. (ie you & me!) Using eminent domain to PURCHASE the assets of PGE makes use of the fact that the ratepayers already OWN a portion of them.

[actually the people who put in the work to "build" the corporation are the rank & file workers who had their pensions STOLEN by ENRON.]

Fourth, if you want to know how well public power works, talk to someone from Vancouver, WA or Forest Grove, McMinville, or Drain, OR. All of them have public power.

Better yet - call someone in Palo Alto or Burbank, CA & ask how they fared in the "power shortage" of 2001. Public power consumers didn't have a shortage or spiking prices.

That would be the "power shortage" that ENRON created and which PGE is implicated in. With all sorts of liabilities in tow for PGE ratepayers.

The gigantic rate increase in October 2001 has weaken our economy in this area. in case you've forgotten; it was ~30% for residential customers & 50% for business & industry.

This is your chance to help yourself. Volunteer w/OPPC: