BPA Gets Borrowing Authorityby Kat Ricker, Capital Press - May 3, 2001
Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., got an amendment into the energy bill the Senate passed this week that will increase the Bonneville Power Administration's borrowing authority by $1.3 billion.
BPA plans to use the money to make improvements in its transmission grid, fund new conservation and renewable energy initiatives, and make improvements at existing hydro facilities to make them more efficient and fish-friendly.
Bonneville has asked for a $2 billion boost in its current $3.75 billion borrowing authority. The administration and the House budgets contain an increase of $700 million. The budgets must be reconciled before the end of the fiscal year.
Before the bill passed, the annual "Green Scissors 2002" report, prepared by Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth and the US Public Interest Research Group, called on Congress to reject BPA's request for additional borrowing authority. It labeled this, along with many other proposals, as "wasteful and environmentally harmful spending."
The document criticized Bonneville's "environmentally destructive forms of electricity generation" and its fish programs, calling the federal dams "the primary cause of the decline of endangered salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers."
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