Congresscritter Earl's pushing for reduced costs for the parties involved in the cleanup of the eleven mile stretch of Willamette River in Portland that's a designated Superfund site.
NW Natural owns two polluted industrial properties along the Willamette River where it buried tar left over from gas plants that stopped operating in 1956. The company’s most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows its liability for the Superfund cleanup is at least $43 million.
But Blumenauer rarely—if ever—publicly acknowledges the conflict of interest he has on the Portland Harbor debate: His wife, Margaret D. Kirkpatrick, is senior vice president and general counsel for NW Natural. The utility last year awarded her $769,080 in total compensation—including salary, bonuses and other benefits—and her NW Natural stock holdings are valued at $347,000.
But Bow-Tie insists that there's no conflict of interest here; the fact that his wife's company stands to benefit significantly has no bearing - no bearing at all - on his interest in the matter. NW Natural just happens to be one of the largest companies that would be affected, should his cost-reduction efforts succeed. Purely coinky-dink.