NW lawmakers to feds: Don’t micromanage BPA

PORTLAND — Twenty-three Pacific Northwest lawmakers have told the U.S. Department of Energy that hiring violations at the Bonneville Power Administration must be fixed but shouldn’t become an excuse to micromanage the region’s energy policy.

A letter Friday from senators and congressmen in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana asks U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to say when federal oversight of the agency will end.

An inspector general report found widespread discrimination in hiring veterans and retaliation against whistleblowers at the agency.

At the end of October, the U.S. Department of Energy ordered Bonneville’s human resources director and legal counsel to report directly to department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The BPA markets power from 31 federal dams in the Columbia Basin to 140-plus utilities in four states.

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