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Friday, June 17, 2005

Where do I apply?

A couple of items related to Portland General Electric are on the wires today. The Portland Business Alliance is against the city's plan to take the utility over -- instead, the chamber of commerce types support having the Enron bankruptcy court distribute PGE's stock out to Enron's creditors. That would make PGE a stand-alone, publicly traded, Portland-based company again.

Between the PBA's stance on PGE and its opposition to the city's public financing of local politicians' campaigns, it's 0 for 2 for the Big Ideas of Commissioner Erik Sten, who's running the city these days.

On another front, PGE has apparently announced that it has filed for state Public Utility Commission approval of the spinoff of its stock to creditors, thus snubbing the city's bid. The press release isn't up on the PGE site yet (at least not where I can find it), but a second-hand version of it is here.

The press release also notes that PGE is looking for new members of its board of directors. They want people with utility, business, and financial expertise. Yo! Peggy! Over here! I'm available!

Comments (6)

Does this mean the Florida law firm won't get their 4.5 million dollar bonus?

They'll have to settle for a million or so. But don't expect Opie to give up. He'll take this thing all the way to the Supreme Court, like he did with the cable companies -- on your and my dime, of course.

Sten has from time to time talked about the city condemning and taking PGE's assets by eminent domain. Seems like the bankruptcy court's stay would stop them from being able to do that right now, but for how long ...? Or even now, if by consent, and a negotiated and agreed upon just compensation.

As I understand it, the city probably can't condemn anything outside the city limits. Which means it's kind of an idle threat. PGE ain't much without its generation capacity. The new city power company would have to buy its power from... er... PGE!

Meanwhile, in Clackamas County the the County Commisioners and the cities with PGE customers are scrambling to set up their own P.U.D. just in case Portland takes over the utility. They have no interest in kow-towing to Portland's bullying if it takes control.

Interesting, Gordo. Having lost one PUD election after another, the public power types could get the burbs and rurals to go for it as a defensive measure against Portland? Wild.

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