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The Oregonian - Letters to the Editor

PUDs contribute to community


Ellen Lowe (Letters, Oct. 8) is correct. Investor-owned utilities such as Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp are indeed forced by law to contribute 3 percent of their revenues to fund "public purposes" (low-income assistance and weatherization, conservation programs, energy efficiency measures, renewable resources and the like).

Consumer-owned utilities -- cooperatives, municipalities and people's utility districts -- do not contribute to that kitty. Why not? Because of their feature of local control. They have done, are doing and will do the right thing.

From Salem Electric Cooperative to Columbia River PUD to the Eugene Water & Electric Board, every consumer-owned utility in Oregon proudly reaffirmed its commitment to "public purpose" activities by declaring, in writing in 1996, to engage in "public purpose" spending to the tune of at least 3 percent of their electric revenues.

These monies are spent in the utilities' own communities and are not diluted by the overhead costs of an intervening, disbursing agency.

C. CLARK LEONE Manager, Public Power Council Northeast Portland