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Oregon PUC Staff Set To Nix Combo

Fortnightly Magazine - May 1 1997

A senior staff member of the Oregon Public Utilities Commission has informed Portland General Corp. and Enron Corp. that the PUC plans to recommend disapproval of the proposed merger between the two utilities.

The decision will run in the staff's final report, which is expected to be released April 11. "We are not trying to kill the merger," said Phil Nyegaard, PUC staff member.

The staff believes that Enron's offer of $61 million in guaranteed cost savings and rate reductions does not provide sufficient benefits to meet the mandates for merger approval.

"We continue to believe that our companies' joint proposal offers substantial benefits to Oregon and our customers," said Ken Harrison, chair and CEO of Portland General Corp. "We are disappointed by the staff's position, and believe that the $141 million staff recommendation is not supportable." t

Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.

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