Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued the following statement following President Obama's signature of two bills that are expected to create rural jobs and encourage the development of small hydropower projects, including within existing Bureau of Reclamation conduits, waterways and canals. The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act and the Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act were signed into law today.
"I applaud the bipartisan efforts that will support the President's Climate Action Plan and our all-of-the-above energy strategy to boost domestic energy production, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and begin to slow the effects of climate change," Secretary Jewell said. "By streamlining the permitting of small hydropower on existing Bureau of Reclamation facilities, these laws will help expedite the development of renewable and affordable energy in the West and support the creation of rural jobs. There is more work to be done, but these efforts will help the Department of the Interior as we work to permit enough renewables on public lands to power more than 6 million homes."
The Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act provides greater certainty for the generation of clean, renewable hydroelectric power at those Reclamation sites through the regulatory process and administrative streamlining.
"The enactment of this legislation underscores our efforts to develop renewable energy on canal and conduit sites managed by Reclamation across the west," said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "This unlocks the door to developing new sources of energy at hundreds of our facilities across the West while creating new jobs at the same time."