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Commentaries and editorials

Imagine Effect on Economy

by Fergus Pilon
The Oregonian, February 18, 2005

Again, the Bush administration is playing fast and loose with the facts. You reported that the administration "plans to introduce legislation requiring the (Bonneville Power Administration) . . . to charge rates prevailing on the broader energy market" for its power, resulting in an estimated increase in an average residential bill of about $100 per year (Feb. 14).

The New York Mercantile Exchange average price for electricity through 2007 is $54.82, compared with BPA's current $31. BPA's wholesale cost represents about 65 percent of its utility customers' retail cost.

Using these numbers, my electric bill paid to Columbia River People's Utility District (PUD) would increase by more than $36 per month, or $436 per year -- more than four times the president's estimate.

This amounts to a 50 percent increase in electric rates at the retail level. Imagine what a 50 percent increase in electricity prices would do to the economy of the Northwest.

Related Pages
BPA Rates Could Cost 60,000 Jobs by Associated Press, The Register-Guard, 2/15/5

Fergus Pilon, Retired general manager Columbia River PUD St. Helens
Imagine Effect on Economy
The Oregonian, February 18, 2005

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