Trump administration puts BPA assets back on chopping block

first_imgThe Trump administration is proposing to sell the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission assets, despite previous assurances from some administration officials that it would be left alone.The proposed sale was included in the White House’s plan to substantially overhaul much of the federal government. The plan, titled, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations,” was released late last month.The 128-page document claims selling the federally owned transmission assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Power Marketing Administrations, including the BPA, Southwestern Power Administration and Western Area Power Administration, would “encourage a more efficient allocation of economic resources and mitigate unnecessary risk to taxpayers.”“The Federal Government’s role in owning and operating transmission assets creates unnecessary risk for taxpayers and distorts private markets that are better equipped to carry out this function,” the plan reads. “Ownership of transmission assets is best carried out by the private sector, where there are appropriate market and regulatory incentives.”The BPA operates 75 percent of the high-power electrical grid across 300,000 square miles. Its more than 15,000 miles of power lines and nearly 300 substations serve around 12 million customers in the region. The plan argues that “a strong justification no longer exists” for the federal government to operate transmission systems.last_img