Western Caucus Fights To Prevent Sale of PMA and TVA Assets

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Washington, May 9, 2019 | Emilio Navarrete | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Members of the Western Caucus released statements following a Western Caucus-led effort supported by 63 Members of the House of Representatives urging the House Budget Committee to reject two budget requests: 1) The fundamentally-flawed proposal that aims to sell the transmission assets of three of the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); and 2) The suggested switch to market-based pricing structure from the present at-cost pricing structure of the four PMAs.
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For Immediate Release

Date: May 9, 2019

Contact: Emilio Navarrete

Emilio.Navarrete@mail.house.gov



Western Caucus Fights To Prevent Sale of PMA and TVA Assets



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Members of the Western Caucus released statements following a Western Caucus-led effort supported by 63 Members of the House of Representatives urging the House Budget Committee to reject two budget requests: 1) The fundamentally-flawed proposal that aims to sell the transmission assets of three of the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); and 2) The suggested switch to market-based pricing structure from the present at-cost pricing structure of the four PMAs:

Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): "The proposed sale of PMA and TVA assets for the upcoming fiscal year is a short-sighted and ill-considered proposal that would skyrocket energy costs for tens of millions of Americans. While such action may provide a short-term boost to Treasury revenues, these actions would ultimately prove unwise and costly as any prospective private purchaser would have to raise rates dramatically in order to make a profit. At-cost power, on the other hand, is a win for consumers, the federal government and taxpayers as PMAs recoup all federal investment plus interest. To my friends on the Budget Committee, let’s cut the real dead weight off the budget, instead of those programs and assets which are proven to work. As far as Members of the Western Caucus are concerned, these assets are not for sale."

Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03): "Existing PMAs provide low-cost, clean electricity to communities across the country and it’s important to preserve these assets. It is especially important to continue protecting the invaluable hydropower operations, especially in Colorado, as selling these markets could cause an unpredictable price fluctuation for many communities."

Chief Rules Officer Dan Newhouse (WA-04): "The people of Central Washington rely on the stable and affordable power supplied by the Bonneville Power Administration. While I understand the need to streamline federal projects and reduce our government spending, the privatization of PMAs would create uncertainty and lead to higher electricity bills for millions of families across the United States, especially in rural areas. Hydropower projects utilized by PMAs, including the federal dams in the Pacific Northwest, operate at no cost to the taxpayer, and we should be looking to them as examples of successful federal investments."

Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05): "Pacific Northwest consumers rely on the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)’s clean, affordable, and sustainable power it provides to the region. Privatizing PMAs and stripping BPA of its transmission assets, forcing them to go to a cost-based structure, will harm Oregon ratepayers and businesses by raising rates and reducing service, and will put the American taxpayer on the hook for increased administrative, energy, and fish mitigation costs. I strongly urge my colleagues to once again reject this misguided proposal."

Jim Matheson, CEO of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA): "Millions of electric co-op member-consumers in 34 states depend on hydropower from America’s PMAs for affordable and reliable electricity. It is essential that these assets remain a vital part of America’s energy backbone. We thank members of the Congressional Western Caucus for their support in protecting this important resource for America’s electric cooperatives."

American Public Power Association: "No matter how often this bad idea rears its head, it’s nice to know that there are thoughtful lawmakers who stand up for the millions of Americans who receive reliable and affordable power from the PMAs. The American Public Power Association will continue to push back against any shortsighted efforts to divest PMA transmission assets or alter their successful cost-based rate structure."

Background:

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget Request to Congress proposed to sell transmission assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as well as three of the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) within the Department of Energy (DOE). It further requested - separate from the asset sale - a switch to market-based pricing structure from the present at-cost pricing structure of the four PMAs. 

In response, 63 Members of Congress - led by Reps. Dan Newhouse, Kurt Schrader, Paul Gosar, Chuck Fleischmann and Rick Crawford - sent a letter to the House Budget Committee requesting that they reject these misguided proposals to auction off these assets and change pricing structures for the PMAs.

Click HERE to read the final signed letter to House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth and Ranking Member Steve Womack. 

The Power Marketing Administration (PMA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) provide dependable and reliable power for tens of millions of Americans throughout the country. There is no cost to taxpayers as these hydropower projects repay the U.S. Treasury, with interest, all generation and transmission costs of the federal projects.

FY 2020 Signers (63): Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-01)*, Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03)*, Paul Gosar (AZ-04)*, Dan Newhouse (WA-04)*, Kurt Schrader (OR-05)*, Mark Amodei (NV-02), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Earl Blumenaur (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Tom Cole (OK-04), James Comer (KY-01), Jim Costa (CA-16), Angie Craig (MN-02), John Curtis (UT-03), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Tom Emmer (MN-06), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), John Garamendi (CA-03), Greg Gianforte (MT-AL), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Michael Guest (MS-03), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Deb Haaland (NM-02), Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Denny Heck (WA-10), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Trent Kelly (MS-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Steve King (IA-04), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Ben McAdams (UT-04), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Cedric L. Richmond (LA-02), David P. Roe (TN-01), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Adam Smith (WA-09), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Kim Schrier (WA-08), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Scott Tipton (CO-03), Dina Titus (NV-01), Greg Walden (OR-02)

FY 2020 Endorsements: American Public Power Association*, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association*, Southeastern Federal Power Customers


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