Mike Grainey, of the Oregon Office of Energy, first heard testimony from Dan Meek, representing Oregon Public Power Coalition. Following Dan Meek were three representatives from Portland General Electric: Peggy Fowler, CEO; Steve Hawke, Vice President of System Planning and Engineering; and Pamela Lesch, Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affiars. Next to speak were two representative from Pacific Power and Light, who service about 68,000 customers in the area.|
Grainey then heard from those citizens wishing to weigh in on the issue. I ran out of video tape after about an hour and a half of public testimony, and the testimony was still going strong, demonstrating the importance of this issue to the citizens of Multnomah County.
This is about a half hour audio file of Dan Meeks presentation, which essentially discussed twelve advantages of a Public Utility District. 1. No diversion of ratepayer money for Federal income taxes to the Cayman Islands.
"People's Utility Districts don't pay Federal income taxes because they don't have income. Since 1997, and the Enron takeover of PGE, PGE has collected from us ratepayers over $430,000,000 under the supposed cost heading, Federal Income Taxes. That money was sent to Enron, but all indications are it was never paid to IRS. Now it appears that PGE itself will have to pay some of those taxes as part of Enron's consolidated tax group." 2. No taking money from ratepayers to pay state and local income taxes that are in fact not paid.
3. Lower rates due to lower costs.
4. No stock fraud causing millions of people to lose their life savings.
5. No buying of politicians.
6. No cheating of employees out of their pensions.
"It's estimated that the state PERS lost about $80,000,000 in Enron stock when Enron collapsed in 2001. In addition I've seen estimates as high as $200,000,000 that PGE employees themselves lost in their 401K pension plans because they were required to keep Enron stock in their plans for a periood of time, either until they reached age 50, or for other required periods of time." 7. No manipulation of energy markets resulting in huge electric rate increases, resulting in the closing of industries and the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
8. No banning from Federal contracts, wholesale power transactions and California energy markets.
9. Priority access to Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Power services.
10. No selling of assets out from under ratepayers who have paid for them.
11. Ability to retain local asssets for local ratepayers.
12. No million dollar salaries for executives or multiple rounds of multi-million dollar executive bonuses.
On this last point Dan Meek states that the salary for the PGE CEO is $971,000 a year and the Vice President is $541,000 a year. Further, since the bankrupcy, Enron has been engaged in paying round after round of excecutive retention bonuses, possibley up to $140,000,000. Enron has also hired additional dozens of restructuring specialists on top of the 30 already on the payroll, at an annual salary of $860,000 apiece.
These presentations will be cablecast over Community Television sometime in the near future, and the schedules can be found at
Other audio files concerning this issue:
Press Conference announcing the intention to collect signatures to put the Public Utility District on the ballot. 25 minutes.
Oregon Public Power Coalition Announcement
Press Conference with Ralph Nader in support of a Public Utility District in place of Portland General Electric. 30 minutes
Ralph Nader Supports Portland P.U.D.
Press Conference from February 2003 announcing that the petition drive in Multnomah County has been successfully completed. 18 minutes.
OPPC Announces Successful Campaign
Eight minute video of Andy the Illuminary challenging Larry the Lightbulb of Portland General Electric to a debate about utility rates.
Video Of OPPC Rally
Twelve Advantages of a P.U.D.
The link provided takes you to a page where these and other audio files are located.