May 25,2007 00:00
BPA court ruling to have dire consequences; commission urges congressional solution as BPA suspends payments
SALEM, Ore. – The Chairman of the Oregon Public Utility Commission this week blasted a recent federal court decision that will drive up energy rates. Lee Beyer said, “This decision will take $128 million annually out of the pockets of residential and small farm customers served by Portland General Electric (PGE), PacifiCorp and Idaho Power.”
“Things could get worse. This does not include the potential for almost $900 million dollars in refunds for payments already received from BPA. The Court ruling also places at risk other settlements that establish benefits, at similar levels, for the October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2011 time period. And the Court ruling also places at risk any long-term resolution for preserving the benefits of the federal hydro system marketed by BPA,” the Chairman said. “We look forward to working with our congressional delegation, BPA, the utilities and customer groups to find a way out of this problem. Our customers deserve nothing less.”
The court ruled May 3, 2007 that the Bonneville Power Administration’s 2000 Residential Exchange Program settlements that provide cash benefits to the private utilities ran afoul of the Northwest Power Act.