NHA Responds to Revised Senate Energy Bill, Calls on Congress to Pass Hydropower Provisions

Washington, D.C. (November 28, 2016) – The following is a statement from Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association, on the U.S. Senate’s revisions to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S.2012):

“For over two years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have worked to craft bipartisan hydropower provisions to modernize the licensing process, while protecting environmental values. The Senate’s proposed compromise on an energy Conference Report marks a pivotal point in reaching bipartisan comprehensive energy legislation. We urge House and Senate Energy Bill Conferees to pass this bill as it brings increased predictability, coordination and timeliness to the hydropower regulatory process.

“Improving the process means designating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating permits, and enhancing schedule discipline by involving all federal and state regulators much earlier in the approval process and providing opportunities to collaborate and resolve any disputes. Without these commonsense solutions in place, the outmoded and outdated process of permitting hydropower projects will continue to take up to a decade or longer.

“Congress has an opportunity to unlock hydropower’s clean energy potential, enhance the existing hydro system, and promote responsible new energy infrastructure development. Passage will also put the nation on the path to making the U.S. Department of Energy’s vision of sustainably growing hydropower by 50GW by 2050 a reality. However, expanding the nation’s largest source of renewable electricity, while creating jobs, won’t occur until we bring the regulatory process into the 21st century. Now is the time to secure America’s clean energy future.”