Washington D.C., March 11, 2019— The American Public Power Association is again disappointed to see that Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request released by President Trump proposes to divest the transmission assets held by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and three of the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs): Southwestern Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, and Bonneville Power Administration. We will adamantly oppose any effort by the federal government to privatize TVA and PMA assets that have been paid for by electricity customers.
The Association is also again disappointed to see that the FY 2020 budget request proposes to increase PMA rates by changing the current cost-based rate structure.
This is the third year in a row that the budget request makes these misguided proposals despite Congress’ resounding rejection last year and in years past.
The PMAs provide millions of Americans served by not-for-profit public power and rural electric cooperative utilities with cost-based hydroelectric power produced at federal dams. PMA rates are set to cover all generation and transmission costs, as well as repayment, with interest, of the federal investment in these hydropower projects. None of the costs are borne by taxpayers. Similarly, TVA provides affordable electric power to more than nine million people in seven states at no cost to taxpayers.
Selling TVA and PMA transmission assets and/or increasing PMA rates by changing the current cost-based structure would threaten the ability of the PMAs to provide reliable, cost-based power to the approximately 1,200 public power systems and rural electric cooperatives in 33 states and the millions of customers they serve. The Association urges Congress to reject these misguided proposals.