The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) welcomed the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power holding an oversight hearing on the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs).
“We thank Chairman McClintock for holding this timely hearing. More than 600 rural co-ops across 34 states benefit from the constant and renewable flow of power from PMAs. Co-ops continue to support a regionally-based approach to PMA management, versus a Washington-centric, top-down idea. This will allow the PMAs to focus on their core statutory mission of marketing low-cost federal hydropower to preference customers,” said Kirk Johnson, senior vice president of government relations at NRECA.
Joel Bladow, senior vice president for transmission at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in Westminster, Colorado, testified on behalf of electric cooperatives. Bladow underscored the success Tri-State and the Western Area Power Association (WAPA) have had in delivering affordable and reliable power under the current laws and rules governing PMAs, stating, “Historically, the strong regional focus and partnerships with its customers have helped keep electricity affordable and reliable to millions of customers and served the nation well. Tri-State believes the move to increased centralization of process currently performed throughout each of WAPA’s unique regions will inevitably lead to increased costs for its customers with little to no commensurate measurable benefit.”
The four federal PMAs - the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA), the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA) and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) — are important sources of power for rural electric cooperatives who were some of the first purchasers of federal hydropower.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.