The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5892, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, by a vote of 372-0 today. This bipartisan bill -- authored by U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) -- will 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 Senate.
"Today we launch a new path toward smarter, more efficient hydropower project permitting, and it's a victory for us all that we are doing so on a bipartisan basis," said DeGette. "For a state like Colorado, and indeed the entire nation, this 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. Together, the House has continued the bipartisan spirit in which the Act was created, to help get Americans back to work and take a step forward in our nation's clean energy leadership."
"I'm so proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to celebrate the passage of this bill," said McMorris Rodgers. "In Eastern Washington, hydropower plays a pivotal role -- whether it's conventional, small, or conduit hydro -- it provides 75 percent of electricity to the Pacific Northwest and represents a unique opportunity for job creation and energy production. It's clean, reliable, renewable and affordable. Unleashing American ingenuity to increase hydropower production will lower energy costs and help create thousands of jobs. The future of American energy independence depends on the development of an "all of the above' energy approach -- and I'm proud that hydro is finally on its way to being part of it."
"NHA appreciates the work of Reps. McMorris Rodgers and DeGette on this important legislation," said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association. "The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act will continue the growth of the hydropower industry by encouraging development to bring additional affordable clean power to more Americans. We urge the Senate to continue this momentum and deliver the bill to the President's desk"