Bill to promote small hydropower projects heads to Obama

By The Tri-city HeraldAugust 5, 2013 

A bill sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., to promote the development of small hydropower projects is headed to the White House to be signed into law.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., also was an original cosponsor of the Senate version of the legislation.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill and a second hydropower bill Friday, both of which previously had been passed by the House.

"There's no better evidence that hydro is back than these two bills passing the Senate on a unanimous vote," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in a statement.

"Capitalizing on the power potential of existing dams, pipes and conduits is the kind of practical thinking our country needs to generate more renewable energy and cut our carbon footprint," she said.

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

The bill also would direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study the feasibility of a streamlined two-year permitting process.

"Our bill is timely and targeted and it will create jobs and bolster America's competitiveness in the energy sector," said McMorris Rodgers in a statement.

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