Notes to reader:

  1. You can view two versions of this Power Act, identical except as described below. You can jump between them with a link at the top of every section.
    1. The version of the Act numbered as originally passed by Congress (you're on this page now). Each section begins with the standalone section numbers (1 to 12). This is the notation and section numbering commonly used by the Council.
    2. The version numbered as the Act was integrated into the United States Code after adoption. In this version every section begins as 16 U.S.C. “§839(x)(x)". Cross-references to Power Act sections as originally passed by Congress are denoted at the end of each section as "Northwest Power Act, §x(x)(x)."
  2. This is a long document, so it is divided into these sections:

Full text of the Power Act

16 United States Code Chapter 12H (1994 & Supp. I 1995). Act of Dec. 5, 1980, 94 Stat. 2697. Public Law No. 96-501, S. 885.

To assist the electrical consumers of the Pacific Northwest through use of the Federal Columbia River Power System to achieve cost-effective energy conservation, to encourage the development of renewable energy resources, to establish a representative regional power planning process, to assure the region of an efficient and adequate power supply, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Short title and table of contents

This Act, together with the following table of contents, may be cited as the "Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act".

[see contents above]


2. Congressional declaration of purpose

The purposes of this chapter, together with the provisions of other laws applicable to the Federal Columbia River Power System, are all intended to be construed in a consistent manner. Such purposes are also intended to be construed in a manner consistent with applicable environmental laws. Such purposes are:

2(1). to encourage, through the unique opportunity provided by the Federal Columbia River Power System–

2(1)(A). Conservation and efficiency in the use of electric power, and [Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, (Northwest Power Act), §2(1)(A), Dec. 5, 1980, 94 Stat. 2697.]

2(1)(B). the development of renewable resources within the Pacific Northwest; [Northwest Power Act, §2(1)(B), 94 Stat. 2697.]

2(2). to assure the Pacific Northwest of an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply; [Northwest Power Act, §2(2), 94 Stat. 2697.]

2(3). to provide for the participation and consultation of the Pacific Northwest States, local governments, consumers, customers, users of the Columbia River System (including Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies and appropriate Indian tribes), and the public at large within the region in–

2(3)(A). the development of regional plans and programs related to energy conservation, renewable resources, other resources, and protecting, mitigating, and enhancing fish and wildlife resources. [Northwest Power Act, §2(3)(A), 94 Stat. 2697.]

2(3)(B). facilitating the orderly planning of the region's power system, and [Northwest Power Act, §2(3)(B), 94 Stat. 2698.]

2(3)(C). providing environmental quality; [Northwest Power Act, §2(3)(C), 94 Stat. 2698.]

2(4). to provide that the customers of the Bonneville Power Administration and their consumers continue to pay all costs necessary to produce, transmit, and conserve resources to meet the region's electric power requirements, including the amortization on a current basis of the Federal investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System; [Northwest Power Act, §2(4), 94 Stat. 2698.]

2(5). to insure, subject to the provisions of this chapter–

2(5)(A). that the authorities and responsibilities of State and local governments, electric utility systems, water management agencies, and other non-Federal entities for the regulation, planning, conservation, supply, distribution, and use of electric power shall be construed to be maintained, and [Northwest Power Act, §2(5)(A), 94 Stat. 2698.]

2(5)(B). that Congress intends that this chapter not be construed to limit or restrict the ability of customers to take actions in accordance with other applicable provisions of Federal or State law, including, but not limited to, actions to plan, develop, and operate resources and to achieve conservation, without regard to this chapter; and [Northwest Power Act, §2(5)(B), 94 Stat. 2698.]

2(6). to protect, mitigate and enhance the fish and wildlife, including related spawning grounds and habitat, of the Columbia River and its tributaries, particularly anadromous fish which are of significant importance to the social and economic well-being of the Pacific Northwest and the Nation and which are dependent on suitable environmental conditions substantially obtainable from the management and operation of Federal Columbia River Power System and other power generating facilities on the Columbia River and its tributaries. [Northwest Power Act, §2(6), 94 Stat. 2698.] (94 Stat. 2698, 16 USC §2)

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