The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee has passed the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act with a bipartisan 17-12 vote earlier today.
The legislation -- officially known as House Resolution 678 -- hopes to improve conditions for hydroelectric project development by cutting red tape and simplifying the permitting process for some hydropower projects.
"At a time when our country need to focus on domestic energy production and job creation, hydropower can play a critical role in providing clean renewable energy while expanding job opportunities in rural America," said Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., who introduced the bill.
HydroWorld.com reported earlier this month that the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power had held a legislative hearing on H.R. 678, and after having passed the full committee, the bill could go to a House vote as early as the House's next session.
The House passed nearly identical legislation this past year, though that bill -- H.R. 2842 -- did not come up for a Senate vote before the end of the congressional session.