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News Release
Commission Chairman Issues Statement To Congressman Peter Defazio's Comments On Deregulation Law

April 17, 2001 (2001 - 017)
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR- "Congressman DeFazio is wrong about Oregon’s restructuring bill on several counts:
  • It does not relieve the utilities of the obligation or the duty to serve.
  • It does not relieve the utility of the responsibility to maintain reliability.
  • We are not committed to a policy of divestiture. It does not require, encourage or rely upon divestiture of generating assets.
  • Residential rates will not be affected by Senate Bill 1149. Residential customers will continue to get a cost-based rate as they always have.
  • Repeal of SB 1149 will not change the rates residential customers will receive.
I conceded the so-called "divestiture authority" cited by Rep. Ackerman can be repealed because it did not change any law or authority which existed prior to the passage of SB 1149. A utility at any time can propose sale of an asset. No asset can be sold without Commission approval. SB 1149 didn’t change that. Removing the language cited by Rep. Ackerman doesn’t change it either.
If labor was concerned about the loss of the manufacturing jobs cited by Mr. Nesbitt, then a proper response might be to give those manufacturing plants and employers the opportunity to buy power from someone other than the utility if they can get a better deal. Oregon’s bill allows them to do that without jeopardizing other customers. It actually helps save jobs, not cost them. That’s why the large industrial customers support the bill and the choices it gives them."
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