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WA Congresswoman Morris Introduces Legislation to Require ESA Cost Transparency

March 2, 2006

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today introduced

the Endangered Species Compliance and Transparency Act of 2006. The bill
requires Power Marketing Administrations, including the Bonneville Power
Administration, to provide each wholesale firm customer a list of direct and
indirect cost estimates associated with compliance under the Endangered
Species Act (ESA).

"Whether or not you agree with how the Endangered Species Act is being
implemented is not the point of this legislation," said McMorris.  "This
bill simply gives customers the right to know how much of the federal
government's ESA costs are being passed on to the electricity consumer, who
can then decide whether or not these expenditures are being spent

ESA costs related to endangered salmon have risen considerably over the last
several years due to federal court-mandates and other compliance programs.
In 2004, one mandated spill cost the federal government $77 million in lost
hydropower generation in the Pacific Northwest.  Another spill this year
helped make the Bonneville Power Administration the federal agency with the
highest ESA compliance costs in the Nation. According to the BPA, last
summer's spill assisted between 25 to 300 adult salmon, meaning it cost
rates payers between $250,000 to $3 million per fish. By law, the agency
passes on all of these costs to its wholesale customers, who in turn forward
the costs on to the retail electricity consumer.

Direct costs associated with compliance include study-related costs,
capital, operations, maintenance, replacement costs and staffing costs.
Indirect costs include forgone generation and replacement power costs.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Doc Hastings (WA-04), Norm Dicks (WA-06),
Greg Walden (OR-02), Butch Otter (ID -01), and Mike Simpson (ID-02).

The Bill number is  H.R.4857



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