Portland Water & Sewer
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Posts from August, 2014

Born in ’84: Citizens’ Utility Board a Transformer* for 30 Years!



Born in ’84: Citizens’ Utility Board a Transformer* for 30 Years!

The year 1984 brought us so many events, none of which turned out to be as dire as George Orwell predicted in his novel of the same name.  What did happen that year was that Steve Jobs made light of an Orwellian future when, in front of millions of viewers, he introduced the original Macintosh computer “for the rest of us.” Also in 1984: Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA and Prince’s Purple Rain stormed the airwaves. Tetris swept the nation,… Full Post >>

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CUB Prepares for Confronting Carbon: Fossil Fuels vs. Renewables



CUB Prepares for Confronting Carbon: Fossil Fuels vs. Renewables

As you may already know, CUB’s 2014 Policy Conference will feature a number of topics discussing the complications surrounding mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the challenges currently facing utilities, regulators, and industry stakeholders involves the role of baseload fossil fuels in the energy resource mix. Baseload fossil fuels are the most common resource in most parts of the country, but here in the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed to also have a sizeable hydroelectric resource to supply energy to the… Full Post >>

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Presenting a Model for Utility Oversight



Presenting a Model for Utility Oversight

The Portland Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission met this week for the third time. The Commission heard good news about the bond or credit ratings of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services. The City of Portland sells bonds to build big projects, and a good rating means a lower interest rate which saves ratepayers money. A big chunk of your water and wastewater utility bill, however, still goes toward paying off debt. This is why careful review of the timing and scope of… Full Post >>

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Oregon Stakeholders Pave the Way for Climate Regulation



Oregon Stakeholders Pave the Way for Climate Regulation

CUB is in the midst of some very important and very exciting times. In its 30-year history, CUB has consistently helped to keep Oregon on the forefront of combating climate change by supporting the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) and helping utility companies incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency into their portfolios. Finding cost-effective ways to reduce carbon pollution now will allow customers to avoid the costs associated with carbon regulation in the future.


Because of these and other forward-thinking… Full Post >>

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CUB Conference Preview: Utility Projects to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions



CUB Conference Preview: Utility Projects to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As you know, CUB is gearing up for its fourth annual policy conference, Changing Climate: Adapting to New Regulations. I’m excited to be moderating the first of the afternoon break-out panels, SB 844: Utility Projects to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 


Senate Bill 844 was sponsored by Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) and Representatives Jules Bailey (D-Portland) and Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) in the 2013 Oregon legislative session. In a nutshell, the bill directs the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC)… Full Post >>

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