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What Lower Electric Rates Will Mean

  • Families will have more spending money
  • Businesses will see improved bottom lines
  • Schools will have additional funds to put teachers in classrooms
  • Governments will have more to maintain programs (they use lots of electricity)

Why Public Power Is The Best Power

People's Utility Districts solve the Portland General Electric/Enron mess for Oregonians:

Provide stable, local control:

  • Locally owned and controlled: board of directors directly elected by voters
  • Stable power supply: Cannot be sold at the whim of a private corporation
  • Independent of the Oregon Public Utility Commission, which approved the sale of PGE to Enron and then OK'd the largest rate hike in Oregon history

Good for Labor:

  • Must honor existing union contracts of PGE's workers
  • Have no overpriced executives draining money from workers
  • No absentee ownership: Local control is invested in employees
  • Multiple PUDs = a larger job market: No corporate mergers = stable jobs

Good for Business:  

  • Lower rates mean reduced overhead
  • Stable rates mean predictable overhead
  • Lower rates mean customers have more to spend
  • Locally elected board means a greater voice for business

Lower Costs:  

  • Will get PGE's assets at the lowest price by using eminent domain: doesn't bid at the Enron bankruptcy auction
  • Get wholesale power at low rates unavailable to private utilities
  • More money stays at home: PUDs don't pay Federal income taxes
  • Provide power to citizens, not profits to shareholders: 14% of your PGE bill goes to shareholders!
  • Have no overpriced executives draining money from ratepayers

Good for the Environment: 

  • Can make decisions based on best environmental practices, not highest income
  • Can develop renewable resources

With People's Utility Districts, we can control our energy future. We will not be subject to the whims of absentee owners whose primary objective is to make a profit, not serve the public!

Also read:
"Public power keeps looking better"
"With PUDs, customers save"

Click to view a comparison of rates In today's economy, we need to make every effort to keep our electric rates as low and as stable as possible. The way to do this is through a People's Utility District. A PUD will provide public ownership and local control of electrical service in our county. It will be a not-for-profit utility, providing cost-based rates. It will serve residential, commercial, and industrial electric customers.

A PUD will benefit under the Bonneville Power Administration's mandate to give preference and priority to "public bodies and cooperatives" when selling energy. The PUD will enjoy, along with other publicly-owned utilities in the Pacific Northwest, long-term and less expensive BPA power. Please visit here to view a list of PUD advantages.

 

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Based on 2003 data from the Oregon Public Utility Commission, which was released in September 2004, PGE ratepayers pay more than ratepayers of any publicly-owned electric utility in Oregon except tiny Cascade Locks with 561 total customers. All five People’s Utility Districts have lower rates than PGE. The cost of publicly-owned power averaged 5.73 cents per kilowatt-hour, 21 percent less than PGE. We even pay 20 percent more than investor-owned Pacific Power which serves part of Portland. PUD utilitiy rates are as much as one-half less.

The fact is that up and down the West Coast, publicly-owned power is LESS expensive, MORE reliable, more environmentally responsible, and better for employees.

Oregon has six operating electric PUD's that serve approximately nine percent of our state’s electric needs. They are: Central Lincoln PUD in Newport; Clatskanie PUD in Clatskanie; Columbia River PUD in St. Helens; Emerald PUD in Eugene; Northern Wasco County PUD; and Tillamook PUD in Tillamook. Twenty-eight PUD's exist in Washington State, including Clark County, Tacoma, and Seattle.

Along with lower rates, a ratepayer-owned utility will bring to ratepayers integrity, openness, and fairness. Substantial evidence exists that Enron and PGE engaged in fraud and deceit which area residents are paying for to this day.

Don't kid yourself - PGE is EnronSince Enron's takeover in 1997, ratepayers have given PGE about $750 million (through May 2005) to cover the alleged cost of its federal and state income tax obligations. It amounts to a 7% surcharge on electric bills. The Oregon PUC continues to allow it. The amount increases by $7,750,000 every month. The only money government received sine 1997 was $221,000 for federal income taxes and $10 for Oregon income taxes, both occurring in 2002. Yet that year, PGE had earnings of $66 million and revenue of $1.855 billion. In fact, while PGE was giving Enron our income tax payments, Enron received "net federal tax rebates" of at least $379 million from 1997 until the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

We deserve a ratepayer-owned utility that can be trusted to provide reliable energy at the lowest possible cost. The ONLY option for the future of PGE that protects ratepayers and our local economy from further ruin is public ownership.

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