The Leave Our Lakes Alone Act, co-sponsored by Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) was introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"This is a great opportunity for the people along the Grand Lake Watershed, who have the best interest in mind for the viability and economic future of their own communities, to finally have a say over their shores."
The bill, authored by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) is co-sponsored by Congressman Mullin and two other Members of Congress. H.R. 1235, would give control of federally regulated shorelines to the states instead of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
"FERC is an agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil and the licensing of hydropower projects. The agency now regulates well beyond what the original federal laws and statutes gave them authority to do," Mullin said.
The Leave Our Lakes Alone Act gives each state the opportunity to opt out of all hydroelectric lake shoreline regulations other than the ones governing power regulation. If a state chooses to opt out, then state or local government can institute regulations for their hydroelectric shorelines as long as it does not impact power regulation. However, if a state is comfortable with the way FERC regulates its lakes, then nothing would change.
Lakes that have already implemented Shore Management Plans will continue to operate under the agreed upon legal terms until the time for renewal when states have the opportunity to opt out of federal regulation of the shoreline.
"This is the kind of common sense legislation I came to Washington to fight for," Mullin said. "The communities along the lake know what is best for their area, not some bureaucrat sitting in an office many miles away from Northeastern Oklahoma. I will work hard to secure passage of this bill."