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Mr. CHAFFETZ. I want to thank Chairman Hastings, my colleague, the chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Bishop, for his support in this bill that we introduced, the section that will be included in this bill dealing with the Diamond Fork System.
In Utah, we're blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the word. We're also one of the fastest growing States in the Nation.
The Diamond Fork System, which is included as part of the Central Utah Project, has the capacity to generate up to 50 megawatts of hydroelectric power. Currently, thousands of acre-feet of water flow through the Diamond Fork System through tunnels, pipes, and canals each and every second. This water is necessarily slowed through energy dissipaters as they travel from Strawberry Reservoir to the Wasatch Front. This bill would allow those dissipaters to be easily converted into turbines, thus being able to generate the necessary energy that we need along the Wasatch Front.
The purpose of this bill, which has been included in H.R. 2578, is to waive the unrecoverable sunk cost payment requirements that are inhibiting development of the hydropower at a Bureau of Reclamation facility in Utah. Existing Department of the Interior regulation inhibits hydropower development on the Diamond Fork unit. If the sunk cost recovery requirement is waived, the project will go forward, thus being able to yield the following benefits:
The Treasury is expected, according to the CBO, to get $2 million in revenue over 10 years that it otherwise would not have received. Let me repeat this. This is a net increase to the revenues to the Treasury. It is not an expense to the United States Treasury. In fact, if we don't pass this bill, we won't be able to recover some of those sunk costs. So the net increase to the revenue to the Treasury will go up.
Energy consumers in my district--which this is so desperately needed--will get up to 50 megawatts of new power. And the environmental benefits of this energy are numerous, given that it's clean and it's renewable.
I would also like to remind my colleagues that this bill passed the previous Congress through a voice vote. We introduced this in a bipartisan way. We have Democrats who sponsored this bill as well as Republicans.
With that, I encourage its passage.
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