Public Utility Commission says Gov. Kate Brown silenced energy bill concerns

A series of emails and texts revealed the voices of state utility regulators were suppressed by the governor’s office.

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The candid communications between commissioners, their staff and the governor’s office provide an inside view of why regulators think the anti-coal, pro-renewable energy bill sailing through a short session of the Legislature is a sweet deal for utilities, bad for consumers and ineffective for the environment.

They indicate that the polite conversations about the bill taking place in public hearings belied strong concerns beneath the surface. And they suggest that while Gov. Kate Brown may be taking no public position on the bill, her staff has worked behind the scenes to ease its passage.  

‘This bill is absolute crap… a shell game that will result in no actual emissions reductions and higher rates for Oregon customers,’ John Savage, the longest-serving PUC commissioner, told a fellow utility regulator from Montana in a Jan. 6 email. ‘And then the utilities get to stuff our decisions they didn’t like down our throats.’

(READ MORE: Oregon Live)

The House passed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan this week.

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