This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 2, 2007 12:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was And now, something nice and traditional for the Rose Festival. The next post in this blog is Grim news. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

How thoughtful

We got a nice letter yesterday from Patrick Reiten, the president of our monopoly power company, Pacific Power. The letter informed us that until the company is able to get recent cutbacks in power benefits from the Bonneville Power Administration restored, he is going to take a substantial cut in his executive compensation package. In addition, Warren Buffett, the main shareholder of Pacific's parent company, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, is going to accept smaller dividends.


Reiten didn't say any of that. He didn't even promise to go easy on the shrimp cocktails at the Arlington Club. No, what he told us was that our power bills are about to go up by 13 percent. Oh, and "As we seek a resolution, we encourage you to take steps to manage your electricity use through energy efficiency measures to help keep your costs down."

Good old Pat. You wonder what he's pulling down, and how much his dad has piled up after running the gas company all those years. The Network goes on, and on, and on around here.

I'm glad these guys are looking out for us little folk. Noblesse oblige. Remind me to get out my Crane stationery and write them a thank you note.

Comments (6)

You think you have it tough? Try Wasco Electric Co-op here in The Dalles. We have had a 40% rate increase over the last three years. Not everybody gets those increases, mind you. There are a privleged few who get
(for all practical purposes) free power at the expense of everybody else.
Wasco Electric will sue property owners to get land to install their lines rather than negotiate with the landowner so their lawyer will make more money. They also sue anybody who questions anything they do. Nice folks, huh?
Wasco Electric is not a public utility. They are a private, state-sanctioned monopoly non-profit corporation organized as a Co-operative and not regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission. A Co-operative is supposedly owned by the members or those who buy power from them. However, by law (ORS 62) the members or stockholders have no rights whatsoever. Even fewer rights than stockholders of conventional corporations. Co-operative stockholders cannot even find out what the General Manager makes in wages and benefits much less anything else. Co-operative don't even have the right to attend board meetings. Those who control the Co-operative are protected by law from those they are supposed to serve.
And you think you've got problems!

I keep saying- there ought to be a revolution.

It's about fairness, which I feel is right for me.

Kathe W. is on to something! I agree!

Hmmm... Sounds like it's time to rev up the contract negotiators for something beyond those pitiful 3% increases we've gotten over the past eight years.

I do notice that in circumstances like this that while everybody in the media talks about the need for the average worker to "do better" with their personal finance, not too many note that increases in executive compensation not only outstrip these increases in consumer costs, the gap between the highest paid and lowest continues to increase. If layoffs are "required", I note that it's not the executive and upper management that pays with work loss...and they're the ditzels that made the decisions which led to the crappy circumstances anyway.

Getting rid of a few executives could probably reduce costs sufficiently to forego the rate increases.

In the whole electric power thing, what has to be, in order for there to be any, is homemade power. Get started looking into growing your own. Or be without. Ominous, ominous.

The slavery model is where electricity is some 'non-understandable,' 'magical' stuff, made at a central site, and distributed out wires to everyone. There's no magic at all, you can understand and make the stuff. Else, quitcherbitchin'. You can do this at home, and homemade is cheaper.

Each make our own, or enough for a dozen neighbors, kinda like baking bread.

A factoid about BPA, sort of a question (to me): Supposedly the principal of the federal 'loan' that built Bonneville Dam, has not been repaid the first dime; that all the 'charges' (fun pun, that), electric power customers have paid, these fifty-plus years, that were 'passed thru' to the feds (Treasury?), have paid off nothing but interest on the loan; that the $2 billion principal is still outstanding. Is that true? (Dan Meek, are you out there, answering?) Is the B'ville Dam what is known as a 'stranded asset'?

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