Bill to aid hydropower projects

By the Tri-City HeraldJanuary 20, 2013 

Federal legislation has been reintroduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., to promote development of small hydropower and conduit projects.

Conduit projects fit existing man-made structures, such as canals, with electric generating equipment.

Her proposed legislation, introduced with Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., also would direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study the feasibility of a streamlined two-year permitting process.

"Unleashing American ingenuity to increase hydropower production will lower energy costs and help create thousands of jobs," McMorris Rodgers said in a statement.

The House of Representatives passed the legislation last year. But while there was bipartisan support for the bill in the Senate, it did not come to a vote before the end of the session.

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