PGE's Continuing Misinformation Campaign
The letter below was sent to the Oregonian as a letter to the editor by a PGE employee. My response is at the end of Mr. Price's letter.
Oregonian Letter to the Editor
February 18, 2006
City gets in PGE's way
I've been in the power generation and distribution industry for 25 years. I'm currently a Portland General Electric employee, and I've never worked for more ethical and public-spirited people than our local management team.
PGE once was a locally owned, publicly traded company that provided great service and low electric rates. PGE currently provides electricity with 99.9 percent reliability at rates that are mid- to low range for a metropolitan area the size of Portland when compared to nationwide.
PGE is trying to shed its former owner, Enron, and become again what it once was.
The city of Portland, led by Commissioners Randy Leonard and Erik Sten, is trying to derail that effort. Do you believe that Leonard, Sten and the flying circus known as Portland city government would really provide lower rates and the same reliability?
These are the very same folks who brought you the water bureau mess and the $15 million, no wait... $45 million, no wait... $55 million aerial tram. Do you really want to put yourself at their mercy?
February 18, 2006
To the Editor:
PGE employee John Price's letter to the editor requires a response.
Consistent with other misleading comments coming out of the managers of PGE, Mr. Price wrote:
"PGE currently provides electricity... at rates that are mid- to low range for a metropolitan area the size of Portland when compared to nationwide.(emphasis added)"
Heck, I'll bet if PGE compared the rates it charges to those, oh, I don't know, say in Uzbekistan, they would be a real bargain.
However, if Mr. Price and his PGE bosses compared their rates to their closest competitor here in Oregon, PGE rates are 31% higher for residential and 39% higher for businesses than Pacificorp.
You can be assured that the management of PGE will continue to avoid comparing themselves to local utilities -public or private- anytime soon.
Why are PGE's rates so much higher than any other local utility? I intend to find out conclusively the answer to that question. PGE's electric rates are the subject of a current investigative process that the city of Portland is engaged in that inspired Mr. Price to write his letter to the editor.
As far as Mr. Price throwing out this red herring:
"These are the very same folks who brought you the water bureau mess and the $15 million, no wait... $45 million, no wait... $55 million aerial tram."
Sure, we have made mistakes. However, add up all of the costs of every mistake Mr. Price points to and it is still a fraction of the amount of money PGE collected in taxes that it did not pay but, rather, converted to a cash cow for itself and its parent company Enron... every year!
Additionally, we have copies of emails between top PGE managers making it clear that PGE charged rate payers for taxes they knew would not be paid but would, rather, "increase the net income" of PGE.
If that is not illegal, it should be.
Finally, any mistakes the city of Portland makes are fully and publicly vetted. PGE, on the other hand, obfuscates, misleads and changes the subject to the weather or global hunger when pressed for details on the issues I have written about here.
Mr. Price may have placed himself next in line for a promotion at PGE, however, he continues a dubious PGE strategy of misleading Oregonians in order to divert attention from PGE management's troubling actions.
Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard
1221 SW 4th Ave.