House Passes Costa Bill to Create Jobs, Clean Energy

Press Release

By:  Jim Costa
Date: April 10, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

The House gave overwhelming bipartisan support to legislation that would put the nation's waterways to work producing clean, affordable energy at no cost to taxpayers. Costa helped lead the charge with Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) on H.R. 678, the Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act. The bill streamlines the path for development of small hydropower projects on existing Bureau of Reclamation projects creating rural jobs and modernizing our water infrastructure. The bill cleared the House with a vote of 416-7.

"Every day, water flows thousands of miles through canals, pipes, and ditches across the country, and every day we miss valuable opportunities to utilize this resource's full potential," said Costa. "The greatest barrier to unleashing the next generation of hydropower is not technological; it is regulatory. If we want to strengthen our energy portfolio, we must start with the low hanging fruit. "

Congressman Costa teamed up with Republican Congressman Scott Tipton on the legislation that clears the way for clean energy production at Reclamation facilities.

"There has been a lot of discussion on both sides of the aisle about the need to pursue an all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy, and hydropower, as the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source, should be at the forefront of any comprehensive national energy policy," said Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO). "That is why Congressman Costa and I have worked to advance this bipartisan legislation to foster clean, renewable energy development, create jobs in rural America, and do so without taxpayer cost while returning revenues to the Treasury."

H.R. 678 would empower local water agencies and irrigation districts to develop small conduit hydropower that would stimulate rural economies and reduce the pumping costs local farmers face each year.

The Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act has been endorsed by American Rivers, the Family Farm Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, and the American Public Power Association, among others.