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Public Statements

Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I'm proud to stand here today with my Western colleague, Mrs. McMorris Rodgers, to speak in support of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, H.R. 5892. Both of us realize how important hydropower is towards our country and towards energy independence. It's the largest source of renewable energy in America today, but, as Mrs. McMorris Rodgers said, it's only 3 percent of our Nation's dams that are producing this power.

The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act will enable increased electricity production from clean domestic energy sources by removing roadblocks to new hydropower projects. This legislation will create smarter and more efficient permitting processes for hydropower projects across the Nation by easing the licensing requirements for small hydroelectric projects.

In particular, the bill will allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend preliminary permits for those projects that had been conducted responsibly and to expand the number of hydropower projects that are exempt from FERC licensing requirements. The bill also directs FERC and the Secretary of Energy to perform studies that will reveal new potential for hydropower production and to increase grid reliability. This legislation will promote growth in our hydropower industry and it will create new jobs.

Since my colleague, Mrs. McMorris Rodgers, and I began crafting this bill in December of last year, it has advanced with strong bipartisan support every step of the way. This is a testament both to the substance of the bill and to the spirit of everybody who contributed to the process. Members, staff, and stakeholders negotiated constructively and openly to produce this legislation. It's important for us to realize that even in these politically charged times, such collaboration is possible and necessary for us to fulfill our commitment to the American public.

I want to thank my colleague across the aisle for her hard work on this bill, and I also want to acknowledge Ranking Member Waxman and Chairman Upton on the Energy and Commerce Committee for their support throughout the process.

H.R. 5892 will expand our potential to advance clean energy production and create jobs. I urge all Members to vote for this bill.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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