portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

corporate dominance | economic justice

AUDIO FILE: Twelve Advantages of a Public Utility District

Monday evening, Apil 7, 2003, a hearing was held before a representative of the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) to gather information concerning the Citizens Initiative on the September ballot to make a Public Utility District from Portland General Electric in Multnomah County. This is about a half hour audio file of Dan Meeks presentation, which essentially discussed twelve advantages of a Public Utility District.
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
PhilosopherSeed.org
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.

homepage: homepage: http://www.PhilosopherSeed.org/audio.htm

Thanks Jim! 12.Apr.2003 00:18

go oppc

Thanks Jim. Where would we be without your tireless work?

Friday night I caught the Greg Palast talk from PSU last week. It was awesome to see you get it on cable access so soon.

I was unable to make it to the PUD hearing on Monday. I am glad you were there.

Best regards...

Sounds like a good idea... 12.Apr.2003 00:25

Trilox Woodsman

If the figures that someone gave before were correct if every PGE customer forked over roughly $2000 we could own PGE outright and have total control. I'm all for increasing the amount of windmills up in the gorge as well. Hopefully someday this could offset the dams and they could be removed. Only trouble with the windmills is they chop up birds on a regular basis which really gets the animal rights people upset...

audio no working 12.Apr.2003 11:40

fix

Hey like none of the audio files work on the philosophers seed site...... would be nice if it worked.

I have heard conflicting views to the windmill chopping up birds on a regular basis.

some windmill spokesperson was saying how its at a minimal..... the windmills dont really move that fast to kill birds. of course i wouldnt know since i dont know much about windmills never been up close and personal to one and that guy said it was pretty much a bird chopping myth.

Windmills 12.Apr.2003 13:32

I've seen them

I *have* seen the windmills operating at a number of farms here and in California. We're not talking pinwheels here. The blades move rather slowly. I seriously doubt they'd be a threat to any bird unless that bird was already ill and dying from other causes. I think the concern is bogus.

Not sure... 12.Apr.2003 22:21

Trilox Woodsman

I've never driven up the Gorge and actually seen birds getting chopped up in them but it is a reality. Just search "windmill birdkill" on google...

Files not Working????????? 13.Apr.2003 19:58

Jim Lockhart eagleye@PhilosopherSeed.org

Someone complained that none of the audio files on the PhilosopherSeed.org site were working. They all play when I click on them; is anyone else having trouble streaming these files?
If so, I'll do what I can to get them up and working ASAP!
Please let me know at  eagleye@PhilosopherSeed.org...
Thanks.
Jim