The hydroelectric industry in the United States applauds the recent federal proposal to introduce comprehensive energy legislation.
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Hydropower Association says the legislation introduced by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-Arkansas), Chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, includes provisions that will protect and promote the hydropower resource. “This legislation not only recognizes that hydropower is undoubtedly a renewable resource, but it recognizes that fixing the hydro licensing process and developing additional hydropower capacity is a critical component to maintaining domestic energy supply and diversity,” says Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the NHA.”We commend Senator Murkowski and his colleagues for recognizing the importance and many benefits of hydropower.” The bill includes hydro licensing reform language that was contained in S.71 introduced by Republican Senator Larry Craig, as well as provisions that would extendand expand the currently limited federal production tax credit to other renewable resources, including “incremental” hydropower capacity gained at existing hydroelectric facilities. According to NHA, there are 4,200 MW of hydropower potential at existing facilities, much of it in the supply-starved west. “With skyrocketing energy prices, rolling blackouts, and ever-worsening air pollution problems, now is clearly the time for federal policymakers to better incorporatehydropower – a clean, domestic, reliable and renewable resource – within the nation’s energy strategy,” adds Ciocci. “Licensing reform combined with production incentives for new hydro at existing facilities, will allow the country to increase its utilization of clean, renewable, reliable hydropower.” The NHA represents 61 percent of domestic, non-federal hydroelectric capacity, and its members have 80,000 MW of capacity.