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BPA, TVA, Salt River: Playing Fair in Power Markets?

Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 1998


Can the DOE offer anything to solve these problems in its draft legislation for the Clinton Administration?

Leon Lowery, assistant on special assignment to the deputy secretary of energy, explains: "We've drafted legislation here at the department. It's out for inter-agency review now. We have already put together a comprehensive plan that took a year or more through the interagency task force and this is legislative language to implement that plan.

"Whether we will send the legislative language to the Hill or not is a decision that hasn't been made yet. There's no timetable for the conclusions of that¼ When you're trying to pass legislation to bring electric competition to the entire country, that's the primary objective."

Lowery explains that interagency review means input from numerous other agencies including the National Economic Council, Council on Environmental Quality, the EPA and the Department of Defense, the largest buyer of electric power.

These are controversial environmental issues, very complicated technical issues and tax issues he says. "In our plan, we have a space-holder that says that this TVA process is going on."

When we get through with the bigger bill - that's the highest priority - then we can turn and address the TVA issues."

Courtney Barry is a freelance writer in Austin, Texas. She formerly worked for the general counsel of the Public Utility Commission of Texas.


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