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News Release
Oregon and Washington Commissions Seek Federal Court Rehearing On BPA Residential Benefits
July 20, 2007 (2007-010)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR –This week the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC)  joined with the Washington Utility Transportation Commission (WUTC) to urge the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its May 3, 2007 decision that prompted the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to suspend residential exchange benefits to approximately 1.2 million Oregon households and small farm customers.
BPA’s action forced 13% rate hikes rates for customers of Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp.
“When Oregon customers got this unexpected dose of bad news we vowed to continue fighting on their behalf to get a fair share of low-cost power from the federal power system. The court is one of three courses of action we are actively working on,” Oregon Commission Chairman Lee Beyer said. “We are also seeking short-term financial relief from Congress and are working on a new agreement that does not treat the majority of Oregonians as second-class citizens.”
The request seeks a review by a full panel of judges compared with the three judges who issued the initial decision which struck down BPA’s Residential Exchange Program sharing agreement. The Commission is also disappointed the federal government chose not to seek reconsideration.
“Three out of four households in Oregon are served by private utilities. They deserve no less than full and fair access to low-cost federal power,” the Commission Chairman added. 
PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, Avista and Puget Sound Energy also filed jointly to request a rehearing.
There is not set timeline for the Court to respond to requests for rehearing.