2015 ORS 757.736¹
Surcharges for funding costs of removing Klamath River dams
  • judicial review

(1) Not more than 30 days after the execution of a final agreement, PacifiCorp must file a copy of the final agreement with the Public Utility Commission along with full and complete copies of all analyses or studies that relate to the rate-related costs, benefits and risks for customers of removing or relicensing Klamath River dams and that were reviewed by PacifiCorp during the decision-making process that led to PacifiCorp’s entering into the final agreement.

(2) PacifiCorp must include with the filing made under subsection (1) of this section tariffs for the collection of two nonbypassable surcharges from its customers for the purpose of paying the costs of removing Klamath River dams as described in subsection (11) of this section. Notwithstanding the commission’s findings and conclusions under subsection (4) of this section, the commission shall require PacifiCorp to begin collecting the surcharges on the date that the filing is made under subsection (1) of this section, or on January 1, 2010, whichever is later, and PacifiCorp shall continue to collect the surcharges pending a final decision on the commission’s order under subsection (4) of this section. The surcharges imposed under this section shall be:

(a) A surcharge for the costs of removing the J.C. Boyle Dam; and

(b) A surcharge for the costs of removing the Copco 1 Dam, the Copco 2 Dam and the Iron Gate Dam.

(3) The surcharges imposed under this section may not exceed the amounts necessary to fund Oregon’s share of the customer contribution of $200 million identified in the agreement in principle. In addition, the total amount collected in a calendar year under both surcharges may not exceed more than two percent of PacifiCorp’s annual revenue requirement as determined in PacifiCorp’s last case under ORS 757.210 (Hearing to establish new schedules) decided by the commission before January 1, 2010.

(4) Not more than six months after a filing is made under subsection (1) of this section, the commission shall conduct a hearing under ORS 757.210 (Hearing to establish new schedules) on the surcharges imposed under this section, and shall enter an order setting forth findings and conclusions as to whether the imposition of surcharges under the terms of the final agreement results in rates that are fair, just and reasonable.

(5) Notwithstanding ORS 183.482 (Jurisdiction for review of contested cases) (1), jurisdiction for judicial review of any appeal of an order entered under subsection (4) of this section is conferred on the Supreme Court, and a person seeking judicial review of the order must file a petition for review with the Supreme Court in the manner provided by ORS 183.482 (Jurisdiction for review of contested cases). ORS 183.482 (Jurisdiction for review of contested cases) (3) does not apply to an order entered under subsection (4) of this section. If a petition for review is filed, the surcharges imposed under the terms of the final agreement shall remain in effect pending a final decision on the petition, but shall be refunded if the rates resulting from the surcharges are finally determined not to be fair, just and reasonable. A petition filed under this subsection must indicate on its face that the petition is filed pursuant to this subsection.

(6) The commission may not use any commercially sensitive information provided to the commission in a filing made under subsection (1) of this section for any purpose other than determining whether the imposition of surcharges under the terms of the final agreement results in rates that are fair, just and reasonable. Notwithstanding ORS 192.410 (Definitions for ORS 192.410 to 192.505) to 192.505 (Exempt and nonexempt public record to be separated), the commission may not release commercially sensitive information provided to the commission under this section, and shall require any person participating in a proceeding relating to the surcharge to sign a protective order prepared by the commission before allowing the participant to obtain and use the information.

(7) The surcharges imposed under this section must be of a specified amount per kilowatt hour billed to retail customers, as determined by the commission. The amount of each surcharge shall be calculated based on a collection schedule that will fund, by December 31, 2019, Oregon’s share of the customer contribution of $200 million identified in the agreement in principle. To the extent practicable, the commission shall set the surcharges so that total annual collections of the surcharges remain approximately the same during the collection period, and, when setting the rate for the surcharges, the commission shall account for the actual and expected changes in energy usage over the collection period and account for the actual and expected changes in interest rates on the collected funds over the collection period. The commission may change the collection schedule if a Klamath River dam will be removed during a year other than 2020.

(8) Except as provided in ORS 757.738 (Surcharge trust accounts related to removal of Klamath River dams) (2), all amounts collected under the surcharges imposed under this section shall be paid into the appropriate trust account established under ORS 757.738 (Surcharge trust accounts related to removal of Klamath River dams).

(9) If the commission determines at any time that amounts have been collected under this section in excess of those needed, or in excess of those allowed, the commission must:

(a) Direct the trustee of the appropriate trust account under ORS 757.738 (Surcharge trust accounts related to removal of Klamath River dams) to refund these excess amounts to customers or to otherwise use these amounts for the benefit of customers; or

(b) Adjust future surcharge amounts as necessary to offset the excess amounts.

(10) If one or more Klamath River dams will not be removed, the commission shall direct PacifiCorp to terminate collection of all or part of the surcharges imposed under this section. In addition, the commission shall direct the trustee of the appropriate trust account under ORS 757.738 (Surcharge trust accounts related to removal of Klamath River dams) to apply any excess balances in the accounts to Oregon’s allocated share of prudently incurred costs to implement Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing requirements. If any excess amounts remain in the trust accounts after that application, the Public Utility Commission shall order that the excess amounts be refunded to customers or otherwise be used for the benefit of customers in accordance with Public Utility Commission rules and policies.

(11) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, "the costs of removing Klamath River dams" includes costs of:

(a) Physical removal of the dams;

(b) Site remediation and restoration;

(c) Avoiding downstream impacts of dam removal;

(d) Downstream impacts of dam removal;

(e) Permits that are required for the removal;

(f) Removal and disposal of sediment, debris and other materials, if necessary; and

(g) Compliance with environmental laws. [2009 c.690 §4; 2011 c.394 §1]

Chapter 757

Notes of Decisions

Under regulatory scheme, Public Utility Commissioner has authority to promulgate rule limiting telephone company's liability for directory listing errors or omissions. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

Refund is proper exercise of Public Utility Commission's general powers if refund (1) is based only on in­for­ma­­tion in existence at time of rate order for which refund is being made; (2) is not based on evalua­tion of public utility's actual expenses or revenues; and (3) is not effectuated by offsetting future rates. Gearhart v. Public Utility Commission, 255 Or App 58, 299 P3d 533 (2013), aff'd 356 Or 216, 339 P3d 904 (2014)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of Governor and Public Utility Commissioner to enter into binding agree­ments with respect to uniform curtail­ment plans, (1977) Vol 38, p 861


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 757—Utility Regulation Generally, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors757.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 757, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano757.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.