Statement by executive director Sara Patton on the appointment of new BPA Administrator
The NW Energy Coalition congratulates Bill Drummond for being named as Bonneville Power Administration’s next administrator. BPA is critical to our region’s prosperity, and its leadership affects families, businesses and communities throughout the Northwest.
Bill is stepping into some pretty large shoes. Outgoing administrator Steve Wright’s tenure has featured great expansion of clean energy — both energy efficiency and new renewable energy — and maintenance of cheap power prices that remain the envy of the world. But the agency faces stiff challenges in meeting its fish and wildlife responsibilities, funding low-income weatherization and dealing with thorny issues ranging from full and fair incorporation of new renewable resources and increased distributed generation to transmission planning, electric vehicles, transition off of coal power and climate-change adaptation.
How BPA deals with these issues is important to all of us — not only the public utilities that receive Bonneville power. We have high hopes that the new administrator will draw on his extensive public power experience while working to serve the broad public interest.
One immediate task is putting BPA on the legal side of endangered wild salmon restoration. For 15 years, BPA has been party to a series of woefully inadequate federal recovery plans that the courts have ruled flatly illegal. It’s time for BPA to become part of the solution.
Toward that end, and to help with developing energy efficiency, renewable energy, low-income weatherization, consumer protection and other clean-and-affordable energy projects, we suggest he hire a deputy director with experience in those areas.
We look forward to working with Bill Drummond and on these and other issues that matter to the people, economy and health of our region. We pledge to continue the public-interest advocacy we’ve been doing with BPA for 32 years.
BPA has been a tremendous resource to the Northwest. We’re sure the best is yet to come.