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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, we've had a continuing debate about American energy independence. One way for America to achieve real energy independence is to utilize our own renewable and clean energy resources.

Currently, there are over 800 dams across the Nation waiting to generate power. The dams are already sitting there, sitting on our Nation's rivers all across the country, waiting to generate power, just waiting. From Sacramento to Savannah and right on the Susquehanna River where I live, the power and the consistency of the water flow on these rivers is truly impressive and, as I said, consistent.

The energy created from this immense water flow is something that America should harness for the use of individual and commercial power. In that vein, this amendment would increase the water power energy program by $31 million. Again, this applies only to the water power energy program.

The Water Power Program is a vitally important program to reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil or fossil fuels for many folks on the other side of aisle and the administration who seem desperately opposed to it.

It will allow us to become a more energy independent Nation and do so in an environmentally sound manner. While you sleep, while you work, while you drive, while you talk to your family and watch TV, the rivers are flowing, the tides are moving in and out; power can be generated without any more than that. It doesn't take us digging anything up, dumping anything in, dredging anything up. It just happens.

The water power program is designed to develop water technologies and address barriers to hydropower, barriers like the permitting process that we currently undergo in this Nation which takes companies that want to do this 10 years, minimum, 10 to 15 years to receive a permit. Who invests in something that takes that long, that kind of money? The problem is that increasingly no one does. So what's right under our feet, what's going right past us in our homes, our towns, our rivers, is not being utilized, and it's right there. Eight hundred dams currently in this Nation could be generating power at this moment.

Hydropower is available in every region of the country and is America's largest source of clean, renewable electricity. It accounts for 67 percent of domestic renewable generation and 7 percent of total electricity generation. And it creates good-paying jobs. I mean from the bottom to the top, everyplace on the spectrum of job creation, hydropower creates work for people. It's reliable, proven, and domestic technology that can expand in environmentally responsible ways. It can be put to work in rivers, harbors, and coastal areas to capture energy from currents and tides. Harnessing this energy will create a truly renewable and green source of energy.

I would like to thank the chairman and the committee for the work they have done to bring this bill to the floor, and I ask all of my colleagues to support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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