The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), today approved a pair of commonsense energy bills, adding to a long list of measures approved by the subcommittee. The panel advanced the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act and the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act by voice vote. Both measures now move to the full committee for consideration.
Advancing an "all of the above" energy strategy, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) co-authored H.R. 5892, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act to promote the expanded development and use of hydropower. This legislation will help facilitate job-creating hydropower projects across the country by streamlining the licensing process and removing regulatory barriers to construction.
"While there are a vast array of renewable energies -- including solar, wind, and nuclear power -- in my opinion, the facts are clear: the future of American energy independence depends on the development of an "all of the above' energy approach -- including hydro," said McMorris Rodgers. "That's why Congresswoman DeGette and I have been working to expand hydropower production. Our bill is timely and targeted and it will create jobs and bolster America's competitiveness in the energy sector."
"The legislation has great promise for increased hydropower development across the nation, including for Michigan. Meeting the new hydropower project demand facilitated by this bill will create thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs to help stimulate the economy," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX), Lee Terry (R-NE), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Gene Green (D-TX), Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) introduced the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act, H.R. 4273, to ensure America's power companies are able to comply with DOE emergency orders to maintain grid reliability without facing penalties for violating potentially conflicting environmental laws. This bill will amend the Federal Power Act so that power providers are not forced to choose between conflicting laws. Resolving this conflict will reduce uncertainty and help ensure the reliability of the nation's electric grid.
"Emergency orders are not issued lightly, only under extreme reliability scenarios. This bill is about keeping the power on for all Americans. We are committed to finding a solution that protects energy consumers, the environment and those who provide the power. I'm confident this bill achieves that goal and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move it forward," said Olson.
"Both bills make very good policy and should be noncontroversial. In fact, both bills before us today have broad support and I want to commend my friends and colleagues -- on both sides of the aisle -- for their efforts to develop these critical pieces of bipartisan legislation," said Whitfield.