Bonneville Power Administration: Obligations to Fish and Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest

GAO-03-844T Published: Jun 04, 2003. Publicly Released: Jun 04, 2003.
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The Bonneville Power Administration produces a large portion of the Pacific Northwest's electric power, largely from hydroelectric projects in the Federal Columbia River Power System. Bonneville also has obligations to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife populations affected by these hydroelectric projects. In the past several years, Bonneville has experienced financial difficulties, in part because of rising costs of providing power, lower-than-projected revenue from selling surplus power, and drought conditions. Bonneville's financial situation may adversely affect fish and wildlife. Stakeholders have expressed concern that Bonneville has effectively reduced spending on fish and wildlife programs. This testimony addresses (1) Bonneville's statutory and other obligations to support fish and wildlife programs, (2) Bonneville's historical spending and other efforts in support of fish and wildlife, (3) Bonneville's current financial condition, (4) Bonneville's recent actions that affect fish and wildlife programs, and (5) challenges Bonneville faces in supplying electricity to the region while simultaneously protecting, mitigating and enhancing fish and wildlife.

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