By Shantu Shah of Portland, Oregon who describes himself as "Senior Citizen, Engineer, activist, KBOO 90.7 FM Board Member, Secretary of Society for the Performing Arts of India and the Chairman of the Oregon Electricity Board."
The Oregonian story on April 17th titled "Pitch For PGE" for "the city of Portland and the state of Oregon" ignores and seriously undermines reporting of other forms of electric entity such as electric cooperatives underway which would be non-bureaucratic and not burdensome for taxpayers.
Oregon Senate in competition with the City of Portland has created a virtual under-the-table (or behind-the-scenes or back-door) legislation to primarily benefit PGE and its creditors. Senate House Bill 1008 will give PGE a price (3.0 Billion) Enron wants for its assets and an operational control to the present PGE management that's not in the best interest of the ratepayers or the rest of the taxpayers outside the PGE territory. The HB 1008 expands public employees payrolls and other benefits.
It will create an unforeseen extreme deficit budgets and a detrimental effect to the Oregon schools, Seniors and other state programs. State bill gives Governor a virtual veto to select the Oregon Community Power seven-member board management the Governor wants and not the ratepayers.
I testified in opposition to the PGE bill "Oregon Justice Department should investigate if there is a conflict of interest involved for Governor Ted Kulongoski and Sen. Ryan Deckert, HB 1008 sponsor."
Voters must know what price PGE has paid in past campaign contributions to Kulongoski and Deckert. Why would they now preach public interest when they essentially kept quiet during the Public Utility District formation ballots in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Yamhill counties when PGE outspent to extravagantly defeat the measures?
Were they elected by the people of Oregon or the PGE managers? Whose interest Governor and state Senator Deckert are now protecting?
As opposed to both the municipal (Portland) and state (Oregon) controls of PGE, an entity such as electric cooperative, e.g. Oregon Electricity Board I have formed for the PGE territory that would negotiate PGE purchase using the National Cooperative Finance Corporation low-interest financing would be in the best interest of the ratepayers and all taxpayers.
Electric ratepayers as the owners of an electric co-op would elect its board members every year or two and would not be a drag on state budget or the Oregon Public Utility Commission controls. There was no need to create a new legislation HB 1008, rather than using the electric co-op model that's successful in Oregon and rest of the country. It's simply created to help out corporate debt of Enron.
We must stop this growing cancer in our Government.