Federal Government Says It Won’t Sell Off Bonneville Power Administration Transmission Lines
The Trump administration has abandoned its bid to sell off the Pacific Northwest’s publicly owned utility transmission lines, according to Republican members of Congress who were briefed on the decision.
The plan to privatize the Bonneville Power Administration’s lines had been decried by critics as a move that could also have raised rates for customers.
The Trump administration has suggested selling off BPA’s transmission lines twice. Both times the proposal has been met with strong pushback from Northwest lawmakers. They expressed some relief this spring when Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he would not sell off BPA’s assets without congressional approval.
This idea has been considered off and on for decades — and it’s never set well with BPA’s customer groups or politicians.
Last year, a bipartisan group of 15 Northwest House members sent a letter opposing the proposal, four days before the Trump administration released its plans.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called the most recent proposal a “misguided scheme.”
In a statement Thursday, Washington Republican U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert thanked the administration for listening to their concerns.
“We have voiced our strong opposition to this proposal and are grateful to Secretary Perry for continuing to study the impact a sell-off would have on our region and recognizing BPA’s unique and vital role in maintaining economic vitality for our Northwest communities. It’s a big relief to know that this harmful proposal will not be pursued,” the representatives wrote.
Department of Energy staff called each congressional office to let them know about the decision, according to a Newhouse spokesman.
The BPA operates about three-quarters of the high-voltage transmission systems in its territory, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Copyright 2018 EarthFix
A new proposal from the Trump administration could dramatically change the way the government cleans up radioactive tank waste at Hanford. What does that mean? Anna King explains. Continue Reading Explainer: Feds Want To Reclassify Hanford Waste. What Does That Mean, And What’s At Stake?
In the middle of Hanford’s desert, there’s a tunnel that stretches a third of a mile underground. Anna King got a first-of-its kind look at how work is progressing to prevent another collapse at one of the tunnels willed with radioactive waste. Continue Reading A First Glimpse Of Hanford’s Tunnel 2 As Work Continues To Prevent Another Hazardous Collapse
A fresh federal watchdog report about Hanford says after a major review, systemic fraud and inadequate oversight keep happening at the site, and it’s costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Continue Reading Federal Watchdog Report Says Hanford ‘Plagued With Mismanagement … Fraudulent Activities’