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IOU/Public Settlement

Background Information / Schedule

(updated on November 5, 2003)

This page provides background information regarding the process to finalize the settlement of litigation filed by public agencies and others challenging contracts BPA entered into in 2000. Related suits are also involved. Primary among the issues are the benefits BPA provides to the residential and small farm customers of the region's Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) under the Northwest Power Act of 1980.

Parties to this litigation have been meeting for over a year to develop the terms and conditions for settlement. BPA, Puget Sound Energy, Avista Corporation, and Vera Water and Power signed those agreements on October 23, 2003, thus kicking off a 120-day process to make the settlement final. The series of agreements includes the Stipulation and Agreement for Settlement, Amendment(s) to Existing IOU Settlement Agreements, and Slice Settlement Agreements. The Stipulation states the terms and conditions that each party agrees to in the settlement.

In addition, the Stipulation has three attachments:

  • Covenant Not to Sue:  a contractual promise in which parties to the settlement agree not to file future suits challenging the Stipulation or aspects of BPA's rates,
  • Motions to Dismiss:  a set of motions that ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the pending contract and policy-related litigation, and
  • Motion to Limit Issues on Certain Rate Claims, which asks the Ninth Circuit Court to limit the issues that parties can raise on their existing challenges regarding BPA's 2002 wholesale power rates.

In order for the settlement to be final, all public utilities that are parties to litigation challenging BPA's Residential Exchange Program (REP) settlement agreements with regional IOUs have 90 days to sign the Covenant Not to Sue, the appropriate Motions to Dismiss and, if applicable, the Motion to Limit Issues on Certain Rate Claims. If any public litigant has not signed by the end of the 90-day period, the settlement is not valid. The public litigants have the option of also signing the Stipulation.

If all public litigants sign, then BPA, the IOUs, and the publics have 30 additional days to decide whether or not to withdraw should certain events of default occur. If after a total of 120 days all parties remain in agreement, the settlement becomes final (expected in February 2004).

See also:

October 23, 2003 BPA News Release

"Settlement Backgrounder"
(PDF, 2 pages, 10 kb, Page 2 updated November 5, 2003)

"Special Edition" of BPA Journal
(PDF, 2 pages, 30 kb, updated October 30, 2003)

"Questions and Answers"
(PDF, 7 pages, 30 kb, QA #23 updated November 5, 2003)



Archive of content originally posted or last updated on:  November 5, 2003.
Content provided by:  Sarah Westenberg (503-230-4753, sawestenberg@bpa.gov), Peter Burger (503-230-4148, pjburger@bpa.gov), and Liz Evans (503-230-4284, eaevans@bpa.gov).
Page maintained by:  BPA Web Team.
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