Today, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 678, the "Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act," with a bipartisan vote of 17-12. Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03), the legislation creates new American jobs and expands production of clean, renewable hydropower by cutting duplicative, bureaucratic red tape. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress with bipartisan support.
"At a time when our country needs to focus on domestic energy production and job creation, hydropower can play a critical role in providing clean renewable energy while expanding job opportunities in rural America," said Rep. Tipton. "I'm confident that this commonsense clean energy and jobs bill will receive a vote in the House soon and optimistic that it will head to the Senate with the momentum needed to propel it into law."
Specifically, the bill authorizes hydropower development on existing, man-made Bureau of Reclamation water canals and pipes, cuts government red-tape by streamlining a duplicative regulatory process and reducing administrative costs for these green energy projects. Such man-made facilities are already on disturbed ground, have no environmental impact and have already gone through environmental review.
The bill has been endorsed by the Family Farm Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, the Association of California Water Agencies and the American Public Power Association. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that a nearly identical bill generated $5 million in federal revenue.