Willamette Week - Letters to the Editor
THE THRONE BEHIND THE POWER
Hurray to "The Nose" [WW, Nov. 26, 2003] for its comments on Neil Goldschmidt, but let's tell it without the smoke screen. While it shouldn't be denied that Neil Goldschmidt did some good things for this city and state in the 1980s and 90s with his smooth-talking, that doesn't begin to negate his horrible dealings in the new millennium: major proponent for the destruction of what's left of the historic core of downtown PDX to make way for his lame-brained South Park Blocks expansion proposal (because the existing park blocks are overused? NOT!); representative for dangerous Pacific Northwest nuclear-power facilities, in search of suckers/careless, greedy capitalists who'll run/buy them; and now--the icing on the cake--front man (and nothing more than that) for the group from Texas (Texas Pacific Group) that hopes to buy PGE so they can keep rates artificially high to pay stockholder dividends and over-inflated salaries to liars such as CEO Peggy Fowler. What a joke.
Wake up, Portland. Neil should step out of his gas-guzzling SUV long enough to realize he's become a caricature of everything many of us Oregonians disdain so much: a hypocritical, money-grubbing politico opportunist hack. All Portlanders should pay more attention to "consultants" such as Goldschmidt who'd sell us, our power, safety, future and jobs to the highest bidder so they can trade up to a more massive mansion, larger bank account and bigger SUV. We should all tell City Commissioner Eric Sten and Mayor Katz to continue to move to condemn PGE so that, through establishment of a PUD, the city can install adequate, fair-salary upper management.
Such a move would guarantee sound operations, decrease overinflated electricity rates for everyone, and ensure full employment for the 2,700 or so existing PGE employees who provide our energy. In addition, a city-owned PUD would likely result in increased clean energy production and a higher commitment to nonprofit community endeavors as well as a more independent, stable Willamette Valley.
That's bad for business? How? It's time for all of us to tell the liars and truth distorters where to shove it.
Shame on you, Neil and Peggy. You and your dealings smack of corruption with a capital "C."
PGE LIKES THE DARK
The Nose's article that made a plea for transparency [WW, Nov. 26, 2003] isn't likely to be taken seriously by anybody that makes a difference. They are a private company, and being "transparent" isn't in their best interest. So they won't be. The only reason you'd hire someone who was legendary for making inside deals would be so they make more inside deals--not transparent by definition.
What has me baffled is why they'd want PGE. With the kind of returns they'd expect, they're not trying to get into the electric-utility business. So what is it they get with PGE that makes it worth $2 billion?
Maybe it has something to do with an idle Trojan plant that could make a huge amount of money if it were just running. Or maybe it has something to do with PGE's direct connection and rights to access the BPA lines. I'd say you could spin off a separate generating and transmission company and sell it, and still have an electric utility company after the sale. If Trojan was profitable at the electric rates in effect when it was built, think what it could do now.