The Bonneville Power Administration, the Portland-based federal agency that markets electricity from US government dams on the Columbia River, expects power prices to surge this summer because of drought.

BPA Journal (pdf) quotes agency administrator Steve Wright as saying: "The last six years in a row have seen below average water, and 2000 through 2005 will set a new record as the worst six consecutive years in the historical record. ‘That includes the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.’"