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[OPINION] Sen. Martha McSally wants to keep the federal government in the electricity business

Posted by   /  May 30, 2019  /  No Comments

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Sen. Martha McSally

The Trump administration wants to get the federal government out of the electricity business. McSally says no.

By Robert Robb | Arizona Republic

(Editor’s note:Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

Providing electricity is not a function of the federal government enumerated in the Constitution. Generally, the provision of electricity in this country is a commercial enterprise. And the federal government is not supposed to be engaged in commercial activities.

Nevertheless, the federal government is in the electricity business through various entities – including the Western Area Power Administration, which operates in Arizona.

Also: Sen. Martha McSally says USS John S. McCain controversy should be investigated

The Trump administration proposes, quixotically but rightfully, to get the federal government out of electricity business by selling the transmission assets of these entities. It estimates that such a sale would fetch more than $6 billion.

The federal government would still be selling wholesale electricity produced by federally operated dams. Right now, that power is sold at cost. The Trump administration, again quixotically but rightfully, proposes that the power be sold at market rates instead. That, it estimates, could fetch more than $250 million a year.

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