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Special Report

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1997

Charles B. Curtis. What happens to the Review on the federal level could well depend on Curtis, should he leave the department when the Senate confirms a new energy secretary.

A final issue that might hit a snag regionally is the funding of public purpose measures, such as renewables and low-income weatherizations. Hotly debated in the committee and finally agreed upon in the panel's waning days was a 3 percent solution (em 3 percent of electricity services sales, or about $210 million a year. But it's "iffy," says Mahar. "We're getting messages from the four states [public utility commissions] saying they're not going to support it. I think there's going to be a big question as to whether that sticks."

The BPA markets power produced by more than 30 federal hydro-electric projects. Generation from the projects accounts for about 40 percent of the region's power. The BPA also owns most of the Northwest's high-voltage transmission facilities. t

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr. is an associate editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY. E-mail:


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