Congresswoman McMorris Votes for Energy Bill with Hydropower Benefits

Jan 04, 2009
Clean Energy

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris today voted in favor of a comprehensive energy bill that will benefit the Pacific Northwest and will make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. The legislation, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 249 to 183, provides incentives for renewable energy, provides for new oil/gas exploration and promotes energy efficiency.

“Growing our regional economy is one of my top priorities in Congress,” said McMorris. “Our high energy costs – driven by our dependence on foreign oil – is costing our small businesses and families. The legislation we passed today will help bring down prices while promoting conservation.”

One aspect of the Energy Bill that is critical to the Northwest is the authorization of $100 million for increased hydropower production through increased efficiency at existing dams. Our region's economy was built on inexpensive hydro power from our dams and rivers. This bill will modernize the nation’s laws and preserve the natural resources that sustain the economies of the Pacific Northwest. By updating turbines in federal hydropower plants, the amount of power generated could be increased by 5-10% and provide enough additional power to light 350,000 homes.

In addition, the bill includes a provision to make funds available through grants for individuals who own or operate a facility that uses biomass (such as trees, woody plants, brush and wood chips) as a raw material to produce electric energy, sensible heat, transportation fuels or substitutes for petroleum-based products to offset the costs incurred to purchase biomass for use by such facility.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

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