President Signs Bipartisan Bill into Law to Boost Hydropower Development, Help Create Jobs

August 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama on Friday signed into law H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013. The bipartisan legislation, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee members Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), will help facilitate the development of new hydropower projects across the country by reducing red tape. H.R. 267 streamlines the permitting process for conduit hydropower projects under 5 megawatts, such as projects located on canals and tunnels, as well as for certain other small hydropower projects under 10 megawatts. Renewable sources of energy including hydropower are an important component of the House Republicans’ "all of the above" energy strategy to achieve energy independence, keep costs down for consumers, and create jobs.

“Hydropower is clean, reliable, renewable and affordable,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Unleashing American ingenuity to increase its production will lower energy costs and help create thousands of jobs. The future of American energy independence depends on the development of an ‘all of the above’ energy approach – in which hydro must play a crucial role. This new law will create jobs and bolster America’s competitiveness in the energy sector.”

Hydropower is the United States’ largest renewable electricity source, representing nearly 8 percent of the nation’s electricity generation portfolio. New hydropower development has the potential to produce thousands of megawatts of affordable power and create thousands of new jobs in the process. Estimates project that new hydropower development could produce up to 60,000 megawatts of new hydropower capacity and create over 700,000 jobs by 2025. H.R. 267 was passed with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 422 to 0 in the House of Representatives and by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate.