Washington, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, together with Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), introduced H.R. 3680, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2011 today. This bipartisan legislation will facilitate the development of small hydropower and conduit projects, as well as direct FERC to study the feasibility of a streamlined two-year permitting process.
“This bipartisan legislation will create jobs and ensure that America maintains its competitive advantage in the energy sector. As the largest clean and green electricity source in the United States, hydropower has the potential to create 700,000 new jobs without building one new dam,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “This bill promotes what Eastern Washington already knows: hydro is as clean and green as energy comes – and it’s affordable.”
As founder of the Congressional Hydropower Caucus, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has been a leading champion of this energy source for years. Hydropower, in particular, provides 75 percent of electricity to Eastern Washington and the Pacific Northwest. As the leading source of clean energy, the amount of hydropower generated and sold in an average year is equivalent to nearly 64 million barrels of oil.
“At a time when our economy desperately needs to put Americans back to work, we should be looking for every opportunity to create jobs. This legislation will do just that. It will be enormously beneficial to those in Eastern Washington and across the country. Hydropower has the capacity to meet our country’s growing energy needs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and put Americans back to work. It’s time to say ‘yes’ to one of America’s most promising clean energy sources.”