Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 2842):
"Like most hardworking Arkansas taxpayers, I'm concerned about the rising costs of gas, electricity and food. In order to reverse this expensive trend, we must have an "all-of-the-above' American-made energy strategy. That's why I voted for this bill, which will streamline the approval process for the safe development of clean, renewable hydropower on federal lands. Expanding the use of this affordable energy resource will not only create jobs, it will help lower energy costs for American families and job creators."
The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior and has constructed over 600 dams, nearly 60 power plants and many canals in 17 western states. Currently, Reclamation provides water to more than 31 million people and 140,000 farms responsible for producing 60 percent of the country's vegetables.
H.R. 2842 would authorize Reclamation to issue hydropower development permits on existing Reclamation land, which have already undergone environmental impact studies. Under current law, Reclamation shares jurisdiction over hydropower development with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. H.R. 2842 would assign sole jurisdiction to Reclamation, thus reducing the regulatory process and administrative costs for these projects.