Washington, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) applauded final passage of H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, through the House Energy and Commerce Committee with a bipartisan vote of 32 to 20.
Included in the bill was an amendment offered by Rep. McMorris Rodgers and her colleague Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA). This bipartisan amendment modernizes hydropower’s outdated licensing process.
On average, it takes only 18 months to license a new natural gas facility, but it can take up to 10 years or longer to license a new hydropower project or relicense an existing facility.
Hydropower is clean, safe, reliable, renewable, and affordable.
Studies show we could double hydropower without building a new dam. This bill will make it easier to add power production capabilities to existing dams.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers, prepared statement:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman for convening this important markup. I also want to thank my colleague from California, Mr. McNerney for working with me on this amendment.
“Mr. Chairman, as we continue to advance an “all of the above” energy strategy, we must remember to include our nation’s largest, cleanest, most affordable renewable energy source: hydropower.
“To see the potential and benefits of hydropower – look at my home state of Washington which gets more than 70% of its power from this clean and renewable source of energy.
“However, far too often, the regulatory process for hydropower, is convoluted, costly, and cumbersome.
“Our amendment seeks to correct this – reducing the burdens impeding development of a resource that provides flexibility and reliability to the electric grid, and expands our nation’s ability to rely on many other renewable energy resources.
“Common-sense changes such as allowing FERC to develop a schedule in consultation with federal and state agencies and Tribes for hydropower licensing, and making the licensing study process more efficient will get this low-cost power to communities faster.
“Unleashing American ingenuity to increase hydropower production will lower energy costs and help create thousands of jobs.
“Thank you and I yield the balance of my time to colleague from California, Mr. McNerney.”
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