The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 422-0, in favor of a bi-partisan piece of legislation, H.R. 267, would streamline the process for approving certain hydroelectric development and thus allow the use of smaller hydro projects and conduit hydro projects.  The legislation also directs Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a study on pumped storage project opportunities and to study potential hydropower from existing conduits.

There are two things that strike me about this legislation. First, it appears sensible and straight forward. It has a goal of increasing electricity generated from a renewable source. Second, it is a bi-partisan piece of legislation with members like Reps Rogers, Terry, Walden and Latta supporting it from one side of the isle and Reps. DeGette, Dingell, Markey, Matheson and Lujan on the other side. This is exactly the kind of legislating that we should be doing more of where we find areas that we can agree and we then go out and get it done!

The NAM supports the streamlining of the regulatory process for hydroelectric power development through the elimination of redundant or contradictory regulatory steps and avoiding the imposition of conflicting clauses in other legislative initiatives.

The NAM embraces an “all of the above” energy strategy and hydroelectric power certainly fall into that category. Hydropower is a renewable resource that is clean, efficient and is responsible for more of the Nation’s renewable energy supply than any other source of renewable energy. Hydro provides 67% of the domestic renewable energy and 7% of the total electricity generation. As we streamline the regulatory process and build more hydroelectricity capacity there are job opportunities. (continue reading…)

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