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Public Statements

Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. McMORRIS RODGERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, which I introduced with my good friend from Colorado, Representative Diana DeGette.

As we continue to advance an all-of-the-above energy strategy, we must remember to include our Nation's largest, cleanest, most affordable, reliable, and renewable energy source--hydropower.

Sustainable hydropower is a part of a strong economy, and to see the potential and the benefits of hydropower, all you have to do is look at my home State of Washington State. Over 75 percent of our electricity comes from hydropower. It's clean and it's renewable.

The Columbia and Snake River dams in eastern and central Washington transformed our economy. What was once a dry, barren desert with sagebrush is one of the most productive agriculture regions in the world. And because of low-cost hydropower, we've attracted high-tech companies like Google and Yahoo to relocate their servers in eastern Washington. We've also brought manufacturing facilities like the BMW plant, which is in Moses Lake.

However, the regulatory process for hydropower, particularly for these smaller, controversial projects, is broken. Too often the cost of complying exceeds the cost of the equipment itself. We need to make this process easier and less costly, and that's what this legislation will do. Think of it as the 1040-EZ for hydro permitting. H.R. 267 streamlines the hydropower permitting process, reducing the burdens impeding development and getting low-cost power to communities faster.

Mr. Speaker, most agree with the goal of energy independence and continuing the energy revolution. As part of an all-of-the-above strategy, we need to domestically produce more oil, coal, natural gas, and renewable energies like hydropower.

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Mrs. McMORRIS RODGERS. There was a recent study by the National Hydropower Association that showed we could double hydropower production in this country without building a new dam, simply by investing in new technologies, new turbines. Actually, only 3 percent of the dams in the country produce electricity.

We could also, in this process, create 700,000 jobs. Unleashing American ingenuity to increase hydropower production will lower energy costs and help create thousands of jobs.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support American energy and support H.R. 267.

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