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Who is it thats buying PGE?
Your article 'Lawmakers raise legal questions in PGE deal' (Business, March 9) quotes an Oregon Electric Utility Co. spokesman as saying that U.S. Reps. John Dingell and Edward Markey 'are mistaken when they say Texas Pacific is purchasing PGE, when in fact the Oregon Utility Co. is the purchaser.' As an electric utility regulatory lawyer, I can assure you that the congressmen are not mistaken.
The Public Utility Holding Company Act, the jurisdiction of which travels up to the top holding company, applies to the owners of utility companies and to the owners of the utilities' holding companies. Since Texas Pacific clearly does not plan to get rid of its other businesses, it is probably relying on two legal strategies to escape PUHCA regulation, which prohibits nonutility companies from owning utilities and vice versa.
First, it is no doubt hoping that PUHCA will be repealed, as the pending energy bill proposes. In that case, Texas Pacific and Oregon Utility Co. could do pretty much whatever they liked with PGE, subject to the few restraints that a state commission, the Oregon Public Utility Commission in this case, could impose on interstate holding companies.
Second, if PUHCA was not repealed in time, Texas Pacific undoubtedly would claim that it had no 'control' over Oregon Utility Co., and thus over PGE, because it had primarily a 'passive' interest in the company.
If PUHCA is repealed, Texas Pacific can freely exert control over both Oregon Utility Co. and PGE. This would mean that the Oregon PUC would have little ability to protect Oregon consumers from higher electric bills.
Let's hope Congress recognizes the importance of one of the most vital consumer protection laws in the last century.
County should get
Regarding your article about the mothballed Wapato Jail (Taking no prisoners, March 9): Ask any citizen what he or she feels is the highest priority service provided by local government, and I believe nine out of 10 will give this answer: public safety.
Multnomah County needs to rethink its priorities and find a way to provide all the jail beds that are needed.
hurts our society
I want to speak out against Multnomah County Commission Chairwoman Diane Linn's decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses (Gay weddings tie city in knots, March 5).
It is illegal and destructive to the foundations of society, which are the family and the church. How can we expect God's blessing and protection on our country when we defy his commands in the Bible?
Indy Racing League
is no winner
Race founder Bob Ames might be trying to attract the Indy Racing League to race at Portland International Raceway next year instead of Champ Car (Champ Car promises it's still on the road, Sports, March 23).
But look at the attendance at the IRL race in Phoenix Ñ just 15,000 fans.
If Ames goes to IRL, I will not be there, nor will thousands of Champ Car fans. This guy needs to look at real racingÑ it's not about the IRL. I will cancel my RV parking and Festival Curves seats at the Portland raceway if the IRL arrives.
Good public servants deserve coverage, too
I enjoyed reading the article about retiring City Attorney Jeff Rogers (City attorney rests his final case, Feb. 24). He definitely is a public servant worthy of acclaim and news coverage.
Unfortunately, one hardly ever sees such articles about public officials unless they die or retire. I'm sure there are a lot of committed, talented and really wonderful people working in government whom we will never hear about until they are gone from their jobs.
I remember when The Oregonian finally printed a kind word about Oregon's great Sen. Wayne Morse. It was in his obituary.
The media should always tell us what's wrong with government, because it keeps government officials on their toes. But the media need to recognize what's good in government, so that the voters will not become cynical. It's pretty obvious the media, the Portland Tribune included, have not lived up to the second part of their job.
A point or so not brought to light in 'City attorney rests his final case' (Feb. 24). Jeff Rogers was in a position to protect our community from terrorism but refused. Rogers wouldn't interview Muslims to seek out those who were militant toward the United States. He saw no reason, in spite of the evidence of 3,000 deaths on Sept. 11, 2001.
While Rogers was making this decision public, the so-called 'Portland Seven' were sneaking around in the shadows. After Rogers' decision, this group of terrorists was caught and confessed to being part of a conspiracy to wage war against the United States. Yet Rogers, in self-importance, says he has no regrets about the decision: 'We did the right thing.' What was right about it?
A part of the 'we' to whom Rogers refers to has to be Mayor Katz. She says Rogers was a 'yeoman' and made sure we were on 'sound legal ground.' What about the moral ground for the safety of the citizens? Remember Patrice Lumumba Ford, one of the admitted conspirators. He worked as an intern in Mayor Katz's office for two years.
Then there is city Commissioner Jim Francesconi's comment in the article that elevates Rogers, saying Portland was 'blessed' having him in the city attorney role. You mean 'blessed' because these obscure figures were outside the back of the store while Rogers was tending the front and had no clue and probably still doesn't think that terrorism will happen?
Be careful: Francesconi's in the wings, running for mayor.