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Highlights

GAO reported on the expansion of the high-voltage transmission lines (interties) which allow for an exchange of electricity between the Pacific Northwest and California to: (1) determine the status of previous recommendations that the Secretary of Energy take a more active role in expansion proposals; (2) examine factors affecting the expansion; and (3) determine what the Federal Government could do to accelerate the expansion.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy 1. The Secretary of Energy should direct the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration to determine, after consulting with Northwest utilities, how much Northwest surplus power is available for marketing to California, how long the surplus power will be available, and how the power will be priced. As part of this, the Administrator needs to consult with the Canadian provincial governments to determine how much Canadian power might be available for export through the Northwest to California and at what price. The Administrator needs to determine whether the legislative impediments can be addressed in the negotiation process. If not, the Administrator should evaluate whether legislative changes would be appropriate to facilitate successful conclusion of the negotiations.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy 2. The Secretary of Energy should direct the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration to seek congressional approval for the two Federal power-marketing agencies in the regions, Bonneville in the Northwest and Western in California, to analyze and then develop the most cost-effective intertie addition or additions.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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