U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
(D-Ore.) says he has received a commitment from Secretary of Energy-designate Samuel W. Bodman that the Bush Administration will neither sell nor otherwise privatize the Bonneville Power Administration, which markets electricity at cost from 31 federally owned dams, one non-federal
nuclear power plant, several non-federal hydroelectric projects as well as from wind energy
During a hearing by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee into Bodman's nomination,Wyden questioned Bodman on the issue. The senator later commented: "This is good news for Oregon. The future of the Bonneville Power Administration is the key to our state’s energy future and it greatly comforts me to hear that the nominee committed
today that he would oppose selling off or privatizing BPA.”
In a Jan. 19 news release, Wyden said that he "has worked for years to protect Oregonians’ access to the cost-based power rates BPA provides."
The news release continued: "In February of 2003, the Bush Administration released a statement that seemed to indicate that the White House would move BPA towards privatization. At a hearing the following month, Wyden
reiterated Oregonians’ strong opposition to privatization to White House Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) Director Mitch Daniels, noting the economic blow it would deal to the already hard-hit state. Daniels gave Wyden his word that BPA would not be privatized."