News Releases

Senator Murray Works to Include $3.25 Billion in Additional Borrowing Authority for BPA in Economic Recovery Package

Jan 27 2009

Funding will allow BPA to update aging power grid and help bring alternative energy sources onto the grid throughout the Northwest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that she has included $3.25 billion in additional borrowing authority for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in the Senate American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

In the Pacific Northwest, BPA owns and operates the majority of the region’s transmission capacity.  The increased borrowing authority will assist BPA in funding for critical infrastructure projects to allow new renewable resources to come online. Such an investment could allow 4,700 megawatts of wind energy to come online and directly create an estimated 20,000 green jobs, including high wage construction jobs.

“This investment will help give BPA the resources needed to create family-wage jobs and bring new energy sources online across the Northwest,” said Senator Murray.  “This will allow us to get working today on creating a smarter, more sustainable power grid that is essential to our energy future. This is the type of investment with short and long-term economic benefits that will help get workers back on the job and our economy back on track.”

 “We are so pleased that Senator Murray, working with the Northwest delegation, was able to include $3.25 billion in additional borrowing authority for BPA,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of the Public Power Council.  “Senator Murray’s leadership means that BPA will have the funds it needs to update aging infrastructure here in the Northwest, and integrate renewable resources, like wind, onto the grid.”

The Economic Recovery bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today, which Senator Murray is a senior member of.  It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.