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Bonneville Unit Clean Hydropower Facilitation Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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

H.R. 254, introduced by Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, facilitates the development of 50 megawatts of clean and renewable hydroelectric power at existing Interior Department facilities in the Diamond Fork System in Utah. That is enough electricity to power over 50,000 homes.

The bill removes an administrative impediment to make this happen. As part of the Interior Department's current rules, the developer must first pay $106 million even before investing in the capital cost to install hydropower generators. As Water and Power Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock said, this requirement is akin to a family renting out a room but first requiring the renter to pay off their mortgage. The family is then shocked that nobody wants to rent from them and the family is not further along in paying off its mortgage and has denied itself rental income. The Congressional Budget Office concurred by stating:

The Federal Government is unlikely, under current law, to develop the hydropower resources of the Diamond Fork project for at least the next 10 years.

Therefore, this bill removes the requirement of paying for the sunk cost and encourages non-Federal entities to pursue hydropower development at Diamond Fork. As a result, this legislation will generate $4 million in revenue over a 10-year period. The House has passed this legislation twice in as many Congresses, and I urge my colleagues to support it again.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I concur with the gentleman from New Jersey in that this bill should pass, and I appreciate the bipartisan support.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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