Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), authors of H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, applauded the unanimous approval of their bill in the House of Representatives today. The final vote was 422-0. Their legislation 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. The bill now moves to the Senate.
"Hydro plays a crucial role in Eastern Washington -- whether it's conventional, small, or conduit hydro," said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. "In fact, hydropower provides 75 percent of electricity to Eastern Washington and to the Pacific Northwest region. 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. 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."
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. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).