The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed HR, 5892, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012 today. This bipartisan bill -- authored by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) - would facilitate the development of small hydropower and conduit projects and direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to study the feasibility of a streamlined two-year permitting process. Their legislation now moves to the House floor.
"Today we take a major step down a new path towards smarter, more efficient hydropower project permitting," said Rep. DeGette. "For a state like Colorado, and indeed the entire nation, this bipartisan legislation will expand renewable and affordable hydropower -- far and away our Nation's largest source of clean energy -- and create good jobs for American families. I now look forward to bringing this bill to the Floor where we can continue the bipartisan spirit in which it was created to help get Americans back to work and take a step forward in our nation's clean energy leadership."
"In my district, hydro plays a crucial role -- whether it's conventional, small, or conduit hydro," said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. "In fact, hydropower provides 75 percent of electricity to Eastern Washington and to the Pacific Northwest region. While there are a vast array of renewable energies -- including solar, wind, and nuclear power -- in my opinion, the facts are clear: the future of American energy independence depends on the development of an "all of the above' energy approach -- including hydro. That's why Congresswoman DeGette and I have been working to expand hydropower production. Our bill is timely and targeted and it will create jobs and bolster America's competitiveness in the energy sector."
"NHA applauds the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their swift action on the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012," said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association (NHA). "With policies like this, we can more quickly bring additional hydropower online. Tapping clean, domestic hydropower not only brings us closer to achieving national energy goals, but can help create and support thousands of jobs across the country. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Diana DeGette have put together a strong bill, as evidenced by the speed at which it is moving. With such regionally-diverse bipartisan support, we urge House leadership to bring the bill to floor consideration as soon as possible. NHA stands ready to work with Congress to bring a final bill to the president's desk."