Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (HREA), by unanimous vote of 422-0. 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 U.S. Senate, where leaders in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee are drafting a companion bill to HREA.
"Today's unanimous vote marks a significant step forward towards smarter, more efficient hydropower project permitting, and the ensuing ability to better leverage our nation's largest source of clean energy. For a state like Colorado, and indeed the entire nation, this legislation will expand renewable and affordable hydropower and create good jobs for American families.
"Last night President Obama challenged our nation to strengthen our clean energy leadership, at the same time he called on Congress to work together for the good of the country. The passage of this hydropower bill, created in a bipartisan fashion with Rep. McMorris Rodgers and then passed by the entire House, demonstrates that the President's challenge is indeed achievable. The House came together across the aisle today to help get Americans back to work and to build our nation's clean energy leadership. I now urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same, so we can send this important, bipartisan energy bill to the President's desk as soon as possible."