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Rick Perry Visits McNary Dam; Mum On Proposed BPA Sale


Secretary of Energy Rick Perry speaks about hydroelectric power at a press conference after touring the McNary Dam with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., On Monday in Umatilla. 

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry speaks about hydroelectric power at a press conference after touring the McNary Dam with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., On Monday in Umatilla. 

E.J. Harris/East Oregonian

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry was noncommittal Monday when asked about a proposal in the president’s budget to privatize the Bonneville Power Administration transmission grid following a tour of McNary Dam along the Columbia River.

Perry, who was joined by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., met briefly with reporters outside the dam where he said hydroelectricity will continue to play an important role in America’s energy strategy.

The Trump administration, however, has proposed selling off transmission assets owned by BPA, which markets electric power generated by the Columbia River system — including McNary Dam. Northwest lawmakers have roundly criticized the plan, saying it will raise rates for consumers and affect reliability in rural areas.

In fact, both Walden and Newhouse signed on to a letter sent June 5 to Perry and Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, urging them to support the BPA.

Read more at the East Oregonian.

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