WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman, in a meeting today with Pacific Northwest Senators hosted by Senator Larry Craig, committed to continue discussions with Pacific Northwest interests concerning the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) debt prepayment proposal included in President Bush's FY 2007 Budget Request.
"It was helpful for me to hear the perspectives of this bipartisan group of Pacific Northwest Senators, and to hear their views about the proposal in the President's budget request," Secretary Bodman said. "However, I continue to believe that the Administration's proposal makes good sense for the Bonneville Power Administration and its customers."
The current Administration proposal is substantially different from previous proposals to move to market-based pricing for BPA power. The Administration's FY 2007 Budget Request provides that if BPA earns more than $500 million in annual net secondary revenues, the excess amount will be used to make early payments on its federal bond debt to the United States Treasury. Although this proposal would mean a modest rate increase for Bonneville customers in FY's 2008 and 2009, Bonneville customers could expect to benefit in the long-term through lower rates and improved access to capital to improve and upgrade critical infrastructure facilities.
Secretary Bodman said that a formal BPA rate case to address the proposal in the President's Budget Request would not be initiated until July, and committed to a further dialogue with members of the Pacific Northwest Congressional delegation.
"I look forward to continuing to discuss the President's budget proposal to address the concerns of Pacific Northwest consumers," Secretary Bodman said.
The meeting today with Secretary Bodman was attended by Senators Craig, Cantwell, Smith, Burns and Wyden.
Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940