New legislation seeks to recognize hydropower as renewable, promote industry growth

Legislation introduced to the U.S. House could help promote hydroelectricity by ending practices that diminish existing hydropower and discourage new development, has learned.

House Resolution 6247 -- officially called the "Saving our Dams and New Hydropower Development and Jobs Act" -- was introduced by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), who says the legislation would help eliminate regulatory red tape, generate new non-federal funding and improve governmental transparency.

"This bill recognizes a clear vision and common sense reforms for how our nation can protect existing hydropower and jumpstart new hydropower in order to produce more of this emissions-free and low-cost renewable energy," Hastings says.

If passed, H.R. 6247 would:

"This bill would officially recognize hydropower as renewable energy and help eliminate government roadblocks and frivolous litigation that stifle development," Hastings says. "Hydropower is an essential part of an all-of-the-above energy plan, and its expansion would create thousands of new American jobs, grow our economy and protect the environment."

Hastings’ bill comes on the heels of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012 (H.R. 5892), which passed the House with a unanimous 372-0 vote in July.

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