Otter Tail Power Co. (OTP) president John MacFarlane is pursuing the utility's plan to manage the assets of a portion of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) for a five-year period, to smooth the way toward privatization of the nation's power marketing agencies (PMAs).
MacFarlane has written for support to the senators who represent OTP's utility's three-state service area: Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Larry Pressler (R-SD), Rod Grams (R-MN), and Paul Wellstone (D-MN). The proposal suggests that OTP take part in a five-year pilot to manage the operations and marketing activities of the Billings Marketing Area of WAPA's Eastern Pick-Sloan system. All revenues after costs of operation would be returned to the U.S. Treasury.
OTP continues to push the auction of the PMAs at market value, but MacFarlane finds any sale during this session of Congress unlikely: "Should the House and Senate committees ... fail to endorse the sale, we believe our proposal deserves ... full consideration as the most practical suggestion yet advanced to test the feasibility of privatization."
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