In addition to navigation purposes, the dam was built to generate large amounts of energy for the benefit of the general public. After more than two years of dispute over who should market and sell the energy, this Act delegated responsibilities to two bodies: the Bonneville Power Administration, or BPA, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Bonneville Power Administration was created as part of the Department of the Interior in order to sell and distribute the power created by the dam in addition to preventing monopolization, a phenomenon common to the energy business. The energy was to be sold at wholesale rates. In November 1937, J. D. Ross was appointed the first Bonneville Power Administrator. Under his supervision the BPA hired staff, formed its policies, built miles of transmission lines, appointed a Bonneville Advisory Board, set rates, and held public hearings. As a direct consequence of its public relations, many grass roots groups supported the BPA (Fisher, 35). The other key player in the creation of the Bonneville Dam, the Army Corps of Engineers, controls the operation of the dam by the Act of 1937.
While the creation of the dam gave a sense of hope to its surrounding community, it also negatively affected the Native American Populations whose culture had developed around the Columbia River. In addition to delegating different tasks to different groups, the Act also gave the facility administrator (under the control of the United States Department of Energy) the authority to take any steps necessary to complete the dam and ensure its efficiency, "by purchase, lease, condemnation, or donation" (United States BPA, 32). The decisions regarding the disposal of personal property rested solely on the judgement of the dam's administrator. This clause of the Act made the destruction of forty traditional Indian fishing sites as well as homes and towns possible.
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