Today, U.S. Rep. DeGette (D-CO) applauded the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's unanimous passage of S. 545, a companion bill to H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (HREA). This bipartisan legislation, authored by U.S. Reps. DeGette and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), will facilitate the development of small hydropower projects and will direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to study the feasibility of a streamlined two-year permitting process. In February, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed HREA and with today's Senate action, the bill now moves closer to action by the full Senate.
This bill provides a unique opportunity to put Americans to work by expanding the nation's access to clean, affordable energy. In fact, a study conducted by the National Hydropower Association estimates that by utilizing currently untapped resources, the U.S. could add approximately 60,000 megawatts of new hydropower by 2025, creating up to 700,000 jobs.
"The hydropower bill passed today by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is a critical step towards utilizing our nation's largest source of clean energy and paving the way for a smarter, more efficient national energy policy," said DeGette. "The economic impact of hydropower is enormous, with the potential to create good jobs in Colorado and across the nation. The Senate has a unique opportunity to pass a bipartisan bill that provides clean energy, adds no cost to taxpayers, and helps put Americans back to work. I strongly urge the Senate to act immediately to build upon our nation's clean energy leadership and send this bipartisan energy bill to the President's desk."