H.R. 5892, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Dianna DeGette (D-CO), will help facilitate the development of new hydropower projects across the country by reducing regulatory red tape and streamlining the permitting process. Continuing its efforts under the American Energy Initiative, the House approved this bill unanimously on July 9, 2012.
Hydropower is the nation’s largest renewable energy resource, representing nearly 8 percent of America’s electricity generation portfolio. With the right federal policies in place, it is possible to double hydropower capacity and create over a million domestic jobs across the country.
H.R. 5892 will eliminate some of the regulatory inefficiencies in the hydropower licensing process. The measure will allow companies to reduce the amount of time and money wasted on navigating unnecessary administrative obstacles and instead focus their efforts on constructing hydropower projects that will provide affordable and reliable electricity and create thousands of new jobs.
A study commissioned by the National Hydropower Association found that the U.S. could add up to 60,000 MW of new hydropower capacity (enough to power 60 million homes) by 2025 and create 700,000 direct jobs across the country as a result of new hydropower project development.
This bipartisan legislation offers a balanced, commonsense approach to encouraging hydropower generation by finding significant untapped U.S. hydropower potential and job growth opportunities.