After facing rejection by Congress in last year’s budget process, President Trump doubled down last week with another attempt to sell off the electricity transmission assets of the Bonneville Power Administration and other power marketing agencies. Not only is the asset sale back again, but the president’s fiscal year 2019 budget adds the equally harmful notion of raising money for the federal budget by changing the power rates charged by the Bonneville Power Administration.
The response from Congress to these misguided notions should be no and no.
While wrapped in the veneer of privatization, the president’s budget proposals would have the ironic effect of harming private enterprise in the Northwest by raising costs. It is difficult to view these proposals as anything but a selective regional tax that would transfer wealth from businesses and residents in the Northwest to feed the unquenchable federal budget.