Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement regarding the memorandum issued today by the Department of Energy on the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA):
"The Bonneville Power Administration provides millions of American families and small businesses in the Pacific Northwest with clean, affordable energy. As such, it is important that BPA's decision making remains in the region, that its autonomy as a separate and distinct agency is respected by the Obama Administration, and that ratepayers remain informed and engaged. The unfair hiring practice issues recently brought to light need to be addressed promptly, thoroughly, and with transparency. However, there should not be an open-ended takeover by the Department of Energy. Corrective measures should be focused on remedying the personnel mistakes made by BPA, implemented with transparency for all of those concerned, and not change the fundamental mission of the BPA to provide affordable electricity to its customers. Washington, DC-based memos and directives are unfortunately a recurring and troubling trend with the Obama Administration's Energy Department, and this one could seriously impact BPA's legal and statutory responsibilities for the hydropower system and upcoming negotiation of the Columbia River Treaty. I will continue to watch these developments and perform congressional oversight where necessary."