Policy Analysis No. 66

The Bonneville Power Administration: The Worst Mess by a Dam Site

By Peter D. Cooper
February 6, 1986

Executive Summary

The need to reduce the federal deficit has been apparent for some time, but political pressures have prevented Congress and the administration from agreeing on the necessary spending cuts. Now the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act and the new, higher deficit estimates have made the problem more pressing. With tax increases ruled out because of economic logic and—of more practical significance—the president’s firmness, Congress must find spending reductions to meet its New Year’s resolution to bring down the deficit. One promising approach is to privatize functions that can best be carried out by the private sector. In many cases this will result in both lower costs and better service. One good candidate for privatization is the Bonneville Power Administration, which provides hydroelectric power to the Pacific Northwest.

Read the Full Policy Analysis

Peter D. Cooper, a foreign trade consultant for JII Inc., previously performed energy audits for a BPA contractor.