PGE Proposes $8.5M Trading Settlementby Business Journal staff
Portland Business Journal, September 30, 2003
Portland General Electric has proposed an $8.5 million settlement to federal regulators to settle allegations that it helped Enron manipulate electricity markets during the California energy crisis, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The proposed settlement would pay $6.1 million to California, $1.1 million to the city of Tacoma and $800,000 to Oregon state utility regulators who will ensure that amount is credited to retail customers.
The agreement would also pay $250,000 to industrial customers and $250,000 to Oregon-based Blue Heron Paper Co., which had higher electricity prices than Portland General Electric's cost of service rate, according to documents made public on Tuesday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
According to Reuters, the agreement would also suspend Portland General Electric's wholesale electricity trading privileges for 12 months. The utility said it would keep for at least five years all documents about affiliate trading transactions to ensure the company complies with FERC affiliate rules.
Portland General was accused of helping Enron Corp. create false congestion during the crisis so the company could then receive special fees for relieving the congestion.
In the proposed settlement, PGE did not admit any wrongdoing.
Two former Enron electricity traders have pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading schemes, including Tim Belden, who once headed Enron's trading unit in Portland.
PGE is among many assets that Enron is trying to sell.
Energy Overcharge of $5.5 Billion is Alleged by Tim Reiterman & Nancy Rivera Brooks, LA Times 3/22/01
Judge Says Enron Should Repay State by Reuters, LA Times, 7/16/03
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