SENATE COMMITTEE ON

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

March 21, 2003                                                                                                       Hearing Room B

10:00 AM                                                                                                                       Tapes 44-45

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Frank Shields, Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer, Vice-Chair

Sen. Bill Fisher

 

MEMBERS VISITING:         Sen. Rick Metsger

Sen. David Nelson

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. Ferrioli, Chair

Sen. Ken Messerle

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:                       Sen. Tony Corcoran

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Megan Jensen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           Informational Meeting

    Energy Issues – Steve Wright, Bonneville Power Administration

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 44, A

005

Chair Shields

Calls Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources meeting to order at 10:06 a.m.

013

Co-Chair Ferrioli

Opens Senate Water and Land Use subcommittee meeting.

015

Co-Chair Metsger

Opens Senate Transportation and Economic Development subcommittee meeting.

018

Chair Shields

Opens information meeting.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

ENERGY ISSUES – STEVE WRIGHT, BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION

020

Steve Wright

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Discusses financial issues surrounding the BPA (EXHIBIT A).

  • Ways to continue operations despite financial shortfalls
  • Revenue and equity issues
  • Importance of preserving the value of the energy system for the long run

198

Sen. Nelson

Asks about changes in weather patterns affecting available energy resources for 2003.

201

Wright

Explains that the weather has improved energy levels but not enough to bring available energy to normal levels.

216

Nelson

Asks about high voltage transmission regions.

220

Wright

Talks about problems surrounding high voltage transmission region projects.

256

Nelson

Inquires about BPA debts.

262

Wright

Discusses the debt levels of BPA.

275

Co-Chair Ferrioli

Asks about BPA’s salmon restoration budget.

280

Wright

Explains the budget for salmon restoration projects.

305

Co-Chair Ferrioli

Asks about company agreements with BPA for guaranteed power to restart.

318

Wright

Talks about Golden Northwest financial problems.

347

Chair Ferrioli

Expresses concern over the issue and asks about current preference power purchasers.

370

Wright

Explains how preference power purchasing affects the BPA income stream.

403

Chair Ferrioli

Comments on cost shifts to current preference power purchasers.

409

Wright

Talks about existing resources if load requirements increase.

415

Chair Ferrioli

Expresses concerns regarding BPA’s changing role in the energy market

TAPE 45, A

012

Wright

Addresses energy issues regarding BPA’s role.

038

Chair Ferrioli

Reiterates question regarding the changing role of BPA.

040

Wright

Explains the shift to buying and selling power and discusses processes for good stewardship of resources.

059

Sen. Shields

Asks about who participates in the process of deciding how to serve energy needs.

062

Wright

Replies that it is an open process.

071

Chair Shields

Asks who manages the regional transmission system.

077

Wright

Explains how BPA operates under federal regulatory rules.

119

Sen. Beyer

Inquires about regionalization of BPA.

123

Wright

Discusses regional buyouts and long term contractual mechanisms.

144

Chair Shields

Asks about long term contracts.

153

Wright

Explains that long term contracts are not as secure but avoid legislative tangles.

165

Sen. Nelson

Asks about the dangers of a federal buyout.

167

Wright

Describes threats to the Northwest power system.

193

Sen. Messerle

Asks about long range capacity and power needs in the Northwest.

198

Wright

Discusses Northwest power needs and infrastructure.

252

Chair Shields

Asks about energy situations in other states.

263

Wright

Responds that all states are suffering from the 2001 West Coast energy crisis.

283

Chair Ferrioli

Comments that policies made now are important for the future.

323

Sen. Nelson

Talks about energy capacity.

337

Wright

Explains the Grand Cooley powerhouse dams.

350

Sen. Nelson

Asks about the amount of water in the Columbia River.

352

Wright

Explains.

357

Chair Shields

Asks about how capacity is affected if 1% of water is removed from the base.

370

Wright

Replies that tens of millions of dollars is removed from the marketplace.

390

Chair Shields

Asks about generated capacity.

391

Wright

Explains generated capacity.

405

Sen. Shields

Expresses appreciation of the open relationship with BPA.

TAPE 44, B

010

Scott Corwin

Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative. Discusses rural electric cooperatives.

060

Tom O’Connor

Oregon Municipal Electric Utilities. Discusses the federal Columbia River hydrosystem as it relates to the economic viability of the state.

096

Sen. Nelson

Asks about aggregation of power.

104

Corwin

Explains aggregation of power loads.

125

Sen. Nelson

Asks about the futures market in electricity.

128

Corwin

Talks about electricity as a commodity.

146

Chair Shields

Asks about the impact of Portland General Electric (PGE) entering the market as a large preference power purchaser.

160

Corwin

Discusses the impact PGE would have on preference power purchasing.

185

O’Connor

Discusses potential BPA contracts with PGE.

226

Chair Ferrioli

Comments that the main issue is confidence in energy providers.

228

O’Connor

Agrees.

230

Chair Ferrioli

Adjourns the Senate Water and Land Use subcommittee.

232

Corwin

Comments on power agreements.

246

Sen. Fisher

Asks about anticipated increases in contracts.

256

Corwin

States that progress should be made quickly.

271

Sen. Fisher

Asks about a return to the production of aluminum in the Northwest.

277

O’Connor

Talks about the production and market prices of aluminum.

301

Corwin

Believes some aluminum producers will continue and some will declare bankruptcy.

312

Chair Shields

Closes informational meeting and adjourns meeting at 11:25 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – BPA, energy issues, written testimony, Scott Corwin, 1 p.