Even Wall Street says that selling off the Bonneville Power Administration is a bad idea. In addition to driving up costs for Pacific Northwest ratepayers, Moody’s says it would harm the credit ratings of utilities. The Washington Examiner’s John Siciliano reports:
Credit ratings giant Moody’s shot down the Trump’s administration’s proposal to sell off two federally owned electric utilities on Thursday, saying the action would result in a negative credit rating for the utilities and higher prices for electricity customers.
Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget request to Congress and infrastructure plan propose selling off the transmission line assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority, one of the largest federally owned public utilities, with the Bonneville Power Administration, a large federal electric utility in the Northwest.
“Such a sale would be credit negative for each entity because it would reduce transmission-related revenue, a stable revenue source and weaken federal government support, key considerations that support their respective ratings,” Moody’s said Thursday.
“We also believe that any divestiture is likely to raise transmission rates for BPA and TVA customers because the new private owners would have higher capital costs that would need to be recovered in rates,” it said.