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The Oregonian - Letters to the Editor

Huge savings with public power


In his April 6 column, Steve Duin wonders "if (Gov. Ted) Kulongoski will ever weigh in on the advantages of a public purchase of PGE, a move that might save Oregon ratepayers $100 million a year?"

Last fall, public utility district supporters met with the governor's adviser on energy policy, David Van't Hof. We urged that Kulongoski get involved in the future of the utility. Van't Hof told us the governor saw Portland General Electric as a "local issue."

This attitude was bewildering. PGE is our largest utility, serving an area that produces a huge portion of Oregon's economic activity and tax revenue. Electric power is as crucial to the local economy as oil is to the national economy.

My bewilderment turned to disappointment when I learned that Neil Goldschmidt, trusted adviser to Kulongoski, is point man for Texas Pacific Group's effort to buy PGE.

By the way, $100 million annually greatly underestimates the saving with publicly owned power.

Coordinator, Clackamas Public Power