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House Natural Resources Committee To Hold Pasco Field Hearing On ‘Saving Our Dams’ Legislation
Posted on Friday, August 03, 2012 (PST)

The House Natural Resources Committee on Aug. 15 will hold a legislative field hearing in Pasco, Washington on H.R. 6247, the “Saving Our Dams and New Hydropower Development and Jobs Act.”

The bill was introduced on Aug. 1 by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wa, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Hastings says the bill “protects and promotes hydropower resources by ending practices that diminish existing hydropower, cutting regulatory red-tape, generating new non-federal funding for new projects and improving transparency.”

“Nowhere in the country is hydropower more important than in Washington state where thousands of American families benefit from its clean, low-cost renewable energy. Hydropower dams also provide irrigation and a navigation link for one of the most productive agricultural areas in the nation.  Unfortunately, existing hydropower generation is under attack from government red-tape and endless litigation, which prevents the job creation and economic growth opportunities that come with the expansion of new hydropower,” said Hastings.  “This field hearing will provide an opportunity to hear directly from local stakeholders about the importance and value of protecting our existing dams and the benefits to our economy and job creation of developing new hydropower.” 

The Subcommittee on Water and Power legislative field hearing will be Wednesday, Aug. 15, 9 a.m. at the TRAC Center, Room #2, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco.

The hearing is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live

The full text of the bill can be found http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hr6247-112.pdf

The text of the legislation says the bill is “To protect the Federal Columbia River Power System, Power Marketing Administration customers, and Bureau of Reclamation dams and other facilities and to promote new Federal and other hydropower generation.”

It says “No Federal funds, including funds derived from Power Marketing Administration customer revenues, shall be used to implement a new program, new project, new activity, or other new action required by or proposed the memorandum from , Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to the Power Marketing Administrators with the subject line ‘‘Power Marketing Administrations’ Role’’ and dated 4 March 16, 2012, until—) the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate receive a report containing a legal analysis performed by the appropriate Federal agency that justifies the existing and proposed statutory authorities necessary to implement every program, project, activity, and other action required or proposed by the memorandum.”

In addition the legislation says, “Federal funding shall not be used to remove, partially remove, or breach, or study the removal, partial removal, or breaching of any Federal or non-Federal hydroelectric producing dam unless explicitly authorized by Congress.”

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