Dozens of industry members and energy associations joined forces with the National Hydropower Association in urging Senate leaders to enact hydroelectric regulatory improvement legislation.
In a letter addressed to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., more than 50 companies and other groups asked that the Senate give its final approval to two bills designed to unlock American hydropower potential.
Included in the letter are the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (House Resolution 267) and the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 678), and their Senate companions, S. 545 and S. 306, respectively.
"Hydropower is America's largest renewable electricity resource," the letter said. "The immediate passage of these bills will help to add more hydroelectric capacity to the nation's electricity portfolio, producing significant job creation, energy and environmental benefits."
Both pieces of legislation are waiting for voting after receiving unanimous approval from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in May.
"There is no reason not to move to these bills immediately," NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci said. "They are non-controversial. They have strong support on both sides of the aisle and the Hill. Both industry and the environmental community are supportive. It's time to send these bills to the president's desk."
The bills would promote the development of small hydropower and conduit projects, while also decreasing regulatory timeframes for certain other low-impact projects.
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