March 09, 2006

Bipartisan Language Will Stop BPA Rate Hikes

Wyden-Crapo-Murray provisions adopted by Budget Committee

Washington, DC â?? Customers of Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)-produced electricity will be protected from a projected 10% rate increase under budget language inserted into the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget resolution by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Patty Murray (D-Washington). The Senate Budget Committee agreed to accept the language in its overall budget blueprint legislation outlining spending priorities for the U.S. Department of Energy.â??BPA power customers in Idaho and the Northwest have already seen their rates increase by almost 50% since the energy crisis in 2001 and already pay a premium on electricity produced by Northwest dams for salmon recovery efforts,â?? Crapo said. â??This proposal would have put a new $1 billion tax on BPA customers alone with no relief for at least a decade. In fact, the only guarantee was a 10% rate hike that we hope has been stopped with the restrictions agreed to today.â??The language inserted by Wyden, Crapo and Murray provides the Senate Energy Committee with the authority to stop the Administration from taking action that would lead to a rate increase for BPA customers.