Northwest Energy Policy and the Columbia River
Energy Resources: Policy and Administration
This seminar explores the extraordinary changes taking place in the realm of energy policy and their implications for the Northwest electric utility industry, its consumers, the economy, the Columbia River, salmon, and the environment.
Examine the origins and history of Northwest energy policy.
During the first half of the class we will explore the reasons behind the development of an unusually strong federal role in energy policy within the Columbia Basin, the politics behind the creation of the Bonneville Power Administration, the negotiation of the Columbia River Treaty, the passage of the Northwest Power Act of 1980, the role of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and significant recent developments and controversies affecting the Northwest’s electric power industry.
Engage with a stellar list of guest speakers to explore current policy issues and debates.
During the second half of the class we will invite some of the Northwest’s top energy policy makers and analysts to join us to discuss and debate some of the most important “hot topics” currently under discussion, and explore their implications for the future of the region’s economy and vitality of the Columbia River ecosystem. We will make our final decisions on the topics we want to explore during the first two weeks of class and invite the guest speakers based on our choices. Possible topics may include:
- Help establish Oregon’s Ten-Year Energy Plan.
- Learn how the Northwest is supporting more wind generation and other renewable energy options and the challenges we must overcome to achieve even more windpower.
- Appreciate the vital role that energy efficiency continues to play in the New Energy Economy.
- Explore how possible changes to the Columbia River Treaty might affect Northwest energy policy.
- Investigate the latest developments in energy resource planning at the regional and local utility levels.
- Understand the latest developments in the continuing struggle over competing visions of the Columbia River’s primary role.