Federal Power Marketing Agencies Could Do More in Conservation and Renewable Resource Areas

EMD-80-85: Published: Jul 8, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 1980.

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During the past 2 years, GAO has looked at the future role of contributions of the federal power marketing agencies for assisting in carrying out national energy initiatives. It envisioned the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) becoming major contributors to demonstrating national energy priorities and paving the way for new areas in electricity management.

Legislation is far along in assigning BPA additional authority in conservation and renewable resources. A recent report has shown that the Pacific Northwest has considerable potential for conservation savings and development of renewable resources. BPA is seen as a major force in seeing that regional potential is achieved. With the support of the Department of Energy for an expanded role for BPA, it would seem logical that WAPA and other power marketing agencies should also be assigned expanded leadership roles. However, none of these agencies have received similar legislative attention aimed at their gaining additional authority. Although the agencies are smaller than BPA, GAO believes they could play a significant role in achieving conservation savings and demonstrating and developing renewable resources.

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