Senate backs McCain, Flake amendment to rein in Western Area Power Administration

The U.S. Senate recently adopted an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill addressing the concerns of Arizona power customers about the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) federal overreach.


The U.S. Senate recently adopted an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill addressing the concerns of Arizona power customers about the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) federal overreach.

The amendment, filed by Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, would require WAPA to report on reasons why current and past contracts with power customers have not included contract-termination options.

“Any long-term contract giving Arizona power customers no way out leaves them vulnerable to WAPA passing through increased costs as a result of the agency’s unnecessary and excessive spending,” McCain said. “This amendment advances critical oversight and transparency of WAPA’s activities, which have overstepped their bounds at Arizonans’ expense in recent years.”

Flake said oversight of WAPA is critical to ensuring fair treatment of its customers. “That includes understanding why some of its contracts, particularly those that could lock in 50-year commitments, lack the flexibility found in similar contracts previously used by WAPA and other power administrations,” Flake said.

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