Is Public Power Dead in PDX?

By Gil Johnson of Dundee, Oregon who describes himself as a "former newspaper hack, former political flak, current taekwon-do instructor, part-time public nuisance." Previously, he contributed Oregon Inc.: Educate, Medicate, Incarcerate.

Are we just going to give up on PGE and let some out-of-state corporadoes take it over? Are we just going to wait for Enron to spin it off to the highest bidders?

The Portland takeover bid is dead. I contacted Erik Sten's office and the answer I got was that condemnation is out of the question unless there is a veritable prairie fire of grassroots support from the outlying jurisdictions, which won't happen. The city is prohibited from directly investing in equities, so it can't buy up PGE stock when it goes on the market.

But maybe some other organization can. Actually, PERS has the ability to buy enough PGE stock to control the company. I doubt it will with timid centrists like Ted Kulongoski and Randall Edwards making the decisions.

Is it possible to form a mutual fund or holding company from scratch that could pool the funds of thousands of Oregonians and buy controlling interest in PGE? Or is there an existing mutual fund that would be able to do this and earmark our money for this purchase?

I don't know if this is feasible. We have a company that is supposed to be worth around $2.5 billion, wholesale. When Enron sells off the company, I assume it will want more than that. Will entities other than creditors be able to buy PGE stock? At what price? What percentage of stock ownership would be required for controlling interest (typically, you don't need 50% or anywhere close to that figure)?

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around how people in Oregon could generate a billion dollars, or even half of that, without some kind of government involvement. Is it possible to get 50,000 Oregonians to invest $1,000 each? Somebody enlighten me on this.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    It's time for another PUD effort. I dedicated a year to coordinating the last campaign in Clackamas County. Anyone ready to volunteer to coordinate a PUD campaign to cover the entire PGE service area?

    <h2>Getting the signatures to call the election is the easy part. Winning in the face of a multi-million dollar disinformation campaign by PGE is the hard part. Once the PUD is formed, revenue bonds to pay for the condemned assets are easily attained.</h2>
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