House subcommittee initiates action on hydropower regulatory legislation

28 May

Washington, DC (May 9, 2011) Legislation to improve the regulatory framework for hydropower development continued moving forward on Capitol Hill today as the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on draft legislation based on a bipartisan bill previously introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Diane DeGette (D-CO).

The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012 directs FERC to examine the feasibility of a two-year licensing process for certain low-impact hydropower projects, such as converting existing non-powered dams; removes small conduit projects from FERC jurisdiction; allows more small projects to qualify for the exemption process; and directs the Energy Department to study the role of pumped storage hydropower for integrating intermittent renewables. Similar legislation co-sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2011, passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a voice vote last April.

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