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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.
PGE's Continuing Misinformation Campaign
Randy Leonard

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?

John Price
Damascus

Response

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.
Portland, Oregon
503-823-4682

homepage: homepage: http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/02/pges_misinforma.html

Whoo Hoo! 19.Feb.2006 08:06

!!!!!!

Thanks, Randy!

PGE=Enron 19.Feb.2006 08:41

Citizen

I have moved out of Portland, and now have a PUD. My rates are FAR lower than they ever were with PGE, so fuck their misinformation and self serving lies. Thanks, Randy. May you win in this struggle, though the Korporate state is strong. Watch your back.

Keep at it Randy 19.Feb.2006 19:56

Madam Hatter

I'm glad there's those like Randy Leonard who refuse to give up on PGE, no matter how much the editors of the Oregonian and others like them bitch about it. I just wish the rest of us who don't live in Portland but are still PGE customers had someone standing up for our interests this way.

I remember very well the 30-some% increase in electric rates back when Enron was pulling their scam, and the promise that we'd get rate relief to make up for some of that extortion after their crimes were exposed. I'm still waiting.

Obviously, it'd be better if the PUC or the legislature or some other entity took up this battle. But as usual they've neglected to look out for the good of the public they've been elected to serve. Just like school funding, our legislators have allowed this issue to pass without meaningful action. So I, for one, am thankful that some in Portland city government haven't.