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In a Mar. 16 memorandum, Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined plans to restructure the marketing of federal hydropower operations in an effort to advance the Obama administration’s green energy agenda, which apparently would raise electricity costs, critics charged on Thursday.

“[T]his has nothing to do with science or with economics,” Rep. McClintock (R-Calif.) said in reference to Chu’s memorandum. “It has everything to do with a religious fervor on the radical left.”

The House Committee on Natural Resources, on Apr. 26, held an oversight hearing on Chu’s memo, which calls for upgrading the infrastructure and cyber-security of the nation’s four Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs): Bonneville, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. These PMAs, going back 75 years, deliver electricity from federal hydroelectric dams through transmission lines, substations and power plants.

Mark Crisson, the president and CEO of the American Public Power Association – one of the private non-profits that partners with the federal government to operate 2,000 community-owned electric utilities that serve 46 million Americans in 49 states — said “We find it very puzzling and confusing that an administration that touts an ‘all of the above’ energy policy would favor providing incentives for intermittent wind and solar at the expense of hydro-power and hydro-power customers.”

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