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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This one could get away

While the Portland City Council is busy with other matters, the bankruptcy trustee in the Enron case has quietly initiated a new formal auction process for Portland General Electric Company that could favor other prospective purchasers. Given the expressions of interest, which are multiplying weekly, the latest move could spark a lively bidding war for the utility.

Comments (5)

hope it does get away. you want randy...or Eric "my water bureau mistake cost $30m" Sten running the juice. I wouldn't let them play with scissors let alone electricity or money

You are truly amazing Lars, full of ideas but no solutions; your best foot forward is defaming someone. I would ask since your full of such good ideas why donít you run for a position, oh thatís right your donít live here anymore so you canít. Again thanks for your great ideas and my idea is for the city of Portland to buy it and bring it back home.

As I recall Mr. Sten defamed himself and Lars is guilty of shedding light on Eric's pitiful history that otherwise would be allowed to slip behind the curtain.

The thought of Porkland City Council running PGE gives we customers living outside the fence reason to toss cookies.

I hope the Neil Shield remains strong and the disease doesn't spread.

Better the devil you know. The Lars solution, as it is for most everything, is the free market. Can't let the government stick its nose in where it doesn't belong. Which is how TPG (and Sierra Pacific before them) came within a whisker of buying the utility. We've been down the "free market" path a couple of times now and the results have been the same. The consumer takes it in the shorts.

Lars believes the shareholders whould take over the company. If they wanted to, shareholders would have made an offer by now. They've had lots of time and plenty of opportunity. Instead they're looking to get what they can for their Enron investment and move on. Who can blame them? The city offers everyone the best chance to move forward. It's certainly not a perfect solution. Only the best.

Actually, no we haven't been down the free market path before. If we had, the purchase would have never been blocked. Utilities are heavily regulated and are scarcely examples of a free market. Pizza parlors, which can change ownership overnight, are an example of a free market, not electricity utilities. Even that screwed up situation in California a few years back wasn't a free market (it was a badly regulated market).

A free market would get rid of the government-mandated monopoly jurisdictions, so that you could choose to have your electricity supplied by PGE or Pacific Power or some new provider. Like the way you can change cell-phone providers. With proper competition, there is little reason to care who the owner of a service is.

Until we have proper competition, it isn't a free market. If government can't see fit to allow competition, then maybe the best choice is the customer-owned co-operative model. This distributes any profits back to the customers/owners and still makes it possible for the company to respond should actual competition ever be allowed. More importantly, a co-operative is independent of a political body whose boundaries are not contiguous with that of the utility.

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