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Most of our large wholesale customers, suppliers and counterparties require us to have sufficient creditworthiness in order to enter into transactions, particularly in the wholesale energy markets. If our credit ratings were to decline, especially below investment grade, financing costs and borrowings would likely increase because certain counterparties may require collateral in the form of cash, a letter of credit or some other form of security for existing transactions and as a condition to entering into future transactions with us. Such amounts may be material and may adversely affect our liquidity and cash flows.
Potential terrorist activities and the impact of military or other actions, including cyberattacks, could adversely affect our consolidated financial results.
The ongoing threat of terrorism and the impact of military or other actions by nations or politically, ethnically, or religiously motivated organizations regionally or globally may create increased political, economic, social and financial market instability, which could subject our operations to increased risks. Additionally, the United States government has issued warnings that energy assets, specifically electric utility infrastructure are potential targets for terrorist attacks, including cyberattacks. Cyberattacks could adversely affect our ability to operate our facilities, information technology and business systems, or compromise confidential customer and employee information. Political, economic, social or financial market instability or damage to or interference with our operating assets or the assets of our customers or suppliers may result in business interruptions, lost revenue, higher commodity prices, disruption in fuel supplies, lower energy consumption and unstable markets, particularly with respect to electricity and natural gas, and increased security, repair or other costs, any of which may materially adversely affect us in ways that cannot be predicted at this time. Any of these risks could materially affect our consolidated financial results. Furthermore, instability in the financial markets as a result of terrorism, sustained or significant cyberattacks, or war could also materially adversely affect our ability to raise capital.
We are subject to counterparty credit risk, which could adversely affect our consolidated financial results.
We are subject to counterparty credit risk related to contractual payment obligations with wholesale suppliers and customers.
Adverse economic conditions or other events affecting counterparties with whom we conduct business could impair the ability of these counterparties to meet their payment obligations. We depend on these counterparties to remit payments on a timely basis.
We continue to monitor the creditworthiness of our wholesale suppliers and customers in an attempt to reduce the impact of any potential counterparty default. If strategies used to minimize these risk exposures are ineffective or if our wholesale suppliers' or customers' financial condition deteriorates or they otherwise become unable to pay, it could have a significant adverse impact on our consolidated financial results.
We are subject to counterparty performance risk, which could adversely affect our consolidated financial results.
We are subject to counterparty performance risk related to performance of contractual obligations by wholesale suppliers, customers and contractors. We rely on wholesale suppliers to deliver commodities, primarily natural gas, coal and electricity, in accordance with short- and long-term contracts. Failure or delay by suppliers to provide these commodities pursuant to existing contracts could disrupt the delivery of electricity and require us to incur additional expenses to meet customer needs. In addition, when these contracts terminate, we may be unable to purchase the commodities on terms equivalent to the terms of current contracts.
We rely on wholesale customers to take delivery of the energy they have committed to purchase. Failure of customers to take delivery may require us to find other customers to take the energy at lower prices than the original customers committed to pay.
If our wholesale customers are unable to fulfill their obligations, there may be a significant adverse impact on our consolidated financial results.
Inflation and changes in commodity prices and fuel transportation costs may adversely affect our consolidated financial results.
Inflation and increases in commodity prices and fuel transportation costs may affect our business by increasing both operating and capital costs. If we are unable to manage cost increases or pass them on to our customers, our consolidated financial results could be adversely affected.
Poor performance of plan and fund investments and other factors impacting the pension and other postretirement benefit plans and mine reclamation trust funds could unfavorably impact our consolidated financial results.
Costs of providing our defined benefit pension and other postretirement benefit plans, including costs associated with the joint trustee and multiemployer plans to which we and our subsidiary contribute, respectively, depend upon a number of factors, including the rates of return on plan assets, the level and nature of benefits provided, discount rates, the interest rates used to measure required minimum funding levels, changes in benefit design, tax deductibility and funding limits, changes in laws and government regulation and our required or voluntary contributions made to the plans. Our pension and other postretirement benefit plans, as well as certain joint trustee and multiemployer plans to which we and our subsidiary contribute, respectively, are in underfunded positions.
Furthermore, the funded status of the multiemployer plan to which our subsidiary contributes is considered seriously endangered and a funding improvement plan has been implemented, which may require higher cash contributions in the future. To the extent a mass withdrawal from any of the multiemployer plans to which we or our subsidiary have contributed occurs, we or our subsidiary may be subject to a mass withdrawal liability associated with respective unfunded vested benefits even if we or our subsidiary voluntarily withdrew from the plan up to three years prior to the mass withdrawal. To the extent participating employers default on their obligations to the multiemployer plan to which our subsidiary contributes, our subsidiary could be subject to an allocation of respective unfunded vested benefits associated with those employers' obligations. The multiemployer plan to which our subsidiary contributes covers employees and retirees associated with certain of our mining operations; to the extent the mining operations cease, our subsidiary may be subject to a withdrawal liability. Our pension and other postretirement benefit plans have investments in domestic and foreign equity and debt securities and other investments that are subject to loss. Losses from investments could add to the volatility, size and timing of future contributions. Furthermore, the Pension Protection Act of 2006, as amended, may result in more volatility in the amount and timing of future pension contributions. Similarly, funds dedicated to mine reclamation are invested in debt and equity securities and poor performance of these investments will reduce the amount of funds available for their intended purpose, which could require us to make additional cash contributions. Such cash funding obligations, which are also impacted by the other factors described above, could have a material impact on our liquidity by reducing available cash.
Disruptions in the financial markets could affect our ability to obtain debt financing, draw upon or renew existing credit facilities, and have other adverse effects on us.
Disruptions in the financial markets could affect our ability to obtain debt financing or to draw upon or renew existing credit facilities, and have other adverse effects on us. Significant dislocations and liquidity disruptions in the United States and global credit markets, such as those that occurred in 2008 and 2009, may materially impact liquidity in the bank and debt capital markets, making financing terms less attractive for borrowers that are able to find financing and, in other cases, may cause certain types of debt financing, or any financing, to be unavailable. Additionally, economic uncertainty in the United States or globally may adversely affect the United States' credit markets and could negatively impact our ability to access funds on favorable terms or at all. If we are unable to access the bank and debt markets to meet liquidity and capital expenditure needs, it may adversely affect the timing and amount of our capital expenditures and our consolidated financial results.
We are involved in a variety of legal proceedings, the outcomes of which are uncertain and could adversely affect our consolidated financial results.
We are, and in the future may become, a party to a variety of legal proceedings. Litigation is subject to many uncertainties, and we cannot predict the outcome of individual matters with certainty. It is possible that the final resolution of some of the matters in which we are involved could result in additional material payments substantially in excess of established reserves or in terms that could require that we change business practices and procedures or divest ownership of assets. Further, litigation could result in the imposition of financial penalties or injunctions and adverse regulatory consequences, any of which could limit our ability to take certain desired actions or the denial of needed permits, licenses or regulatory authority to conduct our business, including the siting or permitting of facilities. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial results.
MEHC could exercise control over us in a manner that would benefit MEHC to the detriment of our creditors and preferred stockholders.
MEHC, through its subsidiary, owns all of our common stock and has control over all decisions requiring shareholder approval, including the election of our directors. In circumstances involving a conflict of interest between MEHC and our creditors and preferred stockholders, MEHC could exercise its control in a manner that would benefit MEHC to the detriment of our creditors and preferred stockholders.
Potential changes in accounting standards may impact our consolidated financial results and disclosures in the future, which may change the way analysts measure our business or financial performance.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") and the SEC continuously make changes to accounting standards and disclosure and other financial reporting requirements. New or revised accounting standards and requirements issued by the FASB or the SEC or new accounting orders issued by the FERC could significantly impact our consolidated financial results and disclosures.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments Not applicable.
PacifiCorp's properties consist of the physical assets necessary to support its electricity business, which include electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, as well as coal mining assets that support certain of PacifiCorp's electricity generating facilities. In addition to these physical assets, PacifiCorp has rights-of-way, mineral rights and water rights that enable PacifiCorp to utilize its facilities. It is the opinion of PacifiCorp's management that the principal depreciable properties owned by PacifiCorp are in good operating condition and are well maintained. Substantially all of PacifiCorp's electric utility properties are subject to the lien of PacifiCorp's Mortgage and Deed of Trust. Refer to Exhibit 4.1 in Item 15 of this Form 10-K. For additional information regarding PacifiCorp's properties, refer to Item 1 of this Form 10-K and Notes 3 and 4 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
The right to construct and operate PacifiCorp's transmission and distribution facilities across certain property was obtained in most circumstances through negotiations and, where necessary, through the exercise of the power of eminent domain. PacifiCorp continues to have the power of eminent domain in each of the jurisdictions in which it operates, but it does not have the power of eminent domain with respect to governmental or Native American tribal lands.
With respect to real property, each of the transmission and distribution facilities fall into two basic categories: (1) parcels that are owned in fee, such as certain of PacifiCorp's electricity generating facilities, substations and office sites; and (2) parcels where the interest derives from leases, easements, rights-of-way, permits or licenses from landowners or governmental authorities permitting the use of such land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the transmission and distribution facilities.
PacifiCorp believes that it has satisfactory title to all of the real property making up its respective facilities in all material respects.
PacifiCorp's corporate offices consist of approximately 700,000 square feet of owned and leased office space located in several buildings in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah. PacifiCorp's corporate headquarters are in Portland, but there are several executives and departments located in Salt Lake City. In addition to the corporate headquarters, PacifiCorp owns and leases approximately 2 million square feet of field office and warehouse space in various other locations in Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and California. The field location square footage does not include offices located at PacifiCorp's electricity generating facilities.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
PacifiCorp is party to a variety of legal actions arising out of the normal course of business. Plaintiffs occasionally seek punitive or exemplary damages. PacifiCorp does not believe that such normal and routine litigation will have a material impact on its consolidated financial results. PacifiCorp is also involved in other kinds of legal actions, some of which assert or may assert claims or seek to impose fines, penalties and other costs in substantial amounts. Refer to Note 13 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K for information regarding legal proceedings, including the USA Power litigation.