Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Chair of the House Republican Conference and Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, joined Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) today to reintroduce H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013. This bipartisan bill would facilitate the development of small hydropower and conduit projects and direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to study the feasibility of a streamlined two-year permitting process.
"I'm so proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reintroduce this bill," said McMorris Rodgers. "In Eastern Washington, hydropower plays a pivotal role -- whether it's conventional, small, or conduit hydro -- it provides 75 percent of electricity to the Pacific Northwest and represents a unique opportunity for job creation and energy production. It's clean, reliable, renewable and affordable. Unleashing American ingenuity to increase hydropower production will lower energy costs and help create thousands of jobs. The future of American energy independence depends on the development of an "all of the above' energy approach -- and I'm proud that hydro is finally on its way to being part of it."
"Today we launch a new path toward smarter, more efficient hydropower project permitting, and it's a victory for us all that we are doing so on a bipartisan basis," said DeGette. "For a state like Colorado, and indeed the entire nation, this legislation will expand renewable and affordable hydropower -- far and away our nation's largest source of clean energy -- and create good jobs for American families. Together, the House will continue the bipartisan spirit in which the Act was created, to help get Americans back to work and take a step forward in our nation's clean energy leadership."
In the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 5892, which made the hydropower regulatory process more efficient. While there was bipartisan support for the bill in the Senate, it did not come to a vote before the end of the session. The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 introduces a chance to expand clean and affordable energy during the 113th Congress.
The original co-sponsors of this legislation include Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).