Friday, August 14, 2020
Aug. 14, 2020

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Wyden warns against interference in N.W. energy

The Columbian

PORTLAND — Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden says the hiring scandal at the Bonneville Power Administration shouldn’t become an excuse for the federal government to interfere with energy policy decisions in the Pacific Northwest.

The Democrat who chairs the Senate Energy Committee said at a Friday news conference the agency’s discrimination against veterans looking for work is indefensible and must be corrected.

A report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s inspector general released last week blasted BPA for manipulating the rating process for applicants and retaliating against whistleblowers.

Wyden said he would block any efforts to interfere in BPA policy, auction off the agency or meld it into the national power grid.

The BPA markets power from 31 federal dams in the Columbia Basin and manages much of the region’s power grid.