Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
WA Congresswoman Morris
Introduces Legislation to Require ESA Cost
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
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).
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
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