(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) voted in support of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which will now be sent to the President to be signed into law. McMorris is a member of the Resources Committee and has worked to pass a comprehensive energy plan that lowers our dependency on foreign oil, lowers energy prices for consumers in the Pacific Northwest, and expands the development of renewable energy projects.
“High energy costs hurt our ability to expand our economy and create jobs,” said McMorris. “This comprehensive energy plan will help lower energy prices, create new jobs, and promote greater energy conservation and efficiency.”
The Energy Policy Act (H.R. 6) includes provisions and tax incentives for expanding renewable energy projects. The bill directly impacts the Northwest by increasing studies on hydropower from current water flow. 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.
The bill also extends current tax credits for production of biodiesel fuel through 2008. McMorris is currently a co-sponsor of H.R. 2496, a bill to extend tax incentives for the use of biodiesel through 2010.
“Creating incentives for biodiesel production in Eastern Washington will strengthen our economy, assist local farmers and help promote the use of alternative fuel,” said McMorris. “Biodiesel will create a new market for Washington grown crops and the increase in demand will lead to economic gains for the farming community.”
The energy plan also includes language to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. McMorris is currently the chairwoman of a bipartisan taskforce that is holding hearings around the country to gain a better understanding of how NEPA is being implemented.