The Washington House Technology and Economic Development Committee has voted to advance three bills sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, including two nuclear bills and one economic development bill.
Senate Bill 5111, the Community Prosperity and Revitalization Act, would establish a legislative task force to examine the creation of an agency to expedite issuing permits for large manufacturing, energy and transportation facilities of statewide economic significance. The measure could allow faster permitting without changing regulatory requirements.
Senate Bill 5113 would direct the Department of Commerce to coordinate the manufacturing of small modular nuclear reactors in Washington state. It was amended by the committee to incorporate facets of Brown’s proposal for a nuclear education program.
The amendment directs the Department of Commerce to work with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop recommendations for a clean-energy education program that would include training for jobs related to small modular reactor development and manufacturing.
The third measure, Senate Bill 5094, would address hydro-efficiency improvements that produce additional power to be marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration. The additional power would qualify as renewable energy under the Energy Independence Act, just as electricity from improvements at utility-owned dams already qualifies.