What PSE isn't telling you
October 17, 2008 · 3:28 PM
PSE is being taken over by a foreign Australian investment bank, Macquarrie. PSE's top executives will rake in over $50 million for the takeover. PSE's credit rating is bbb-minus, barely above "junk" grade. Macquarrie's stock has tanked and lost about 75 percent of its value in the last year.
After the takeover, PSE's debt will total about $4.2 billion that the ratepayers (that's us) will have to pay off. Since Whidbey's ratepayers are about 3.3 percent of PSE's "customers," we'll be on the hook for about $138 million of this debt. Yet, PSE claims their Whidbey infrastructure is only worth $130 million and only values it at $41 million when paying state
PSE has had 7 rate increases approved by the toothless state Utilities Commission in the last 6 years. Documents filed by PSE admit to intending to seek a new rate increase every single year for at least the next 10 years.
More people in Washington get electric power from Public Utility Districts than from private corporations like PSE. There are 28 public power agencies in Washington. All except one have lower electric rates than PSE. Except for Orcas Power and Light, PSE's electric rates are the highest in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana.
Public Utility District Commissioners are elected and get salaries of only about $30,000 per year. PSE's CEO "compensation" has been increasing steadily and is now over $5 million per year. PUD commissioners must make decisions in open public meetings and the PUD's financial books are always
available for public copying and inspection. PSE's executives meet in secret and only share the financial information that the Utility Commission forces them to disclose.
Do the right thing for your wallet and your kids. Vote yes for the Public Utility District.