Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Greg Walden helps advance bills to boost hydropower production, promote small businesses and manufacturers in Oregon

December 6, 2017
Press Release

Greg Walden helps advance bills to boost hydropower production, promote small businesses and manufacturers in Oregon

Click here or on the image above to view Walden’s remarks

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), today advanced seven bills to the full House of Representatives for consideration. These bills will help empower consumers, promote clean, renewable hydropower, and promote small businesses and manufacturers in Oregon and across the country.

“These bills expand the nation’s access to domestic energy resources, improve recycling and reuse of materials, and provide small businesses with the regulatory flexibility they need to meet environmental standards while still growing the economy and creating jobs,” said Walden.

Particularly important for Oregon, Walden’s committee advanced legislation to boost hydropower production throughout the United States. Over 43% of Oregon’s electricity is generated from hydropower, and legislation moved forward in the Energy and Commerce Committee today will help promote the use of this renewable resource.

“Many of us on this committee, if not all of us, want to see America do a better job of harnessing its great hydropower potential so we can produce more clean and reliable domestic energy,” said Walden. “Two of today’s bills do exactly this. H.R. 2872 promotes hydropower development at existing non-powered dams and H.R. 2880 opens the door wider for the construction of more pumped storage hydropower projects, which is of particular interest to my constituents in the Pacific Northwest where we have tremendous opportunities to build new pumped-hydro storage facilities.”

H.R. 2872, Promoting Hydropower Development at Existing Nonpowered Dams Act, authored by committee member Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), passed the committee unanimously today.

  • H.R. 2872 would promote hydropower development at existing non-powered dams by providing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with the discretion to grant exemptions from license requirements for qualifying facilities. 

H.R. 2880, Promoting Closed-Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Act, authored by committee member Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), also passed the committee unanimously today.

  • H.R. 2880 would promote closed-loop pumped storage hydropower development by limiting FERC’s authority to only impose licensing conditions that are necessary to protect public safety; or are reasonable, economically feasible, and essential to protect fish and wildlife resources. 

The Energy and Commerce Committee also advanced H.R. 453, Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017, authored by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). This legislation would extend the deadlines for the second phase of new source performance standards for new residential wood heaters. Walden has applauded this bill, which is aimed at providing relief from expensive and burdensome regulations on wood heaters that are popular in rural communities in Oregon.

“In many parts of Oregon, we’re surrounded by forests and wood stoves are the most economical way to heat a home or a ranch shop. But Oregonians in these areas know all too well how expensive burdensome regulations can be,” said Walden at an Energy and Commerce hearing in November. “Areas like Lakeview and Klamath Falls have found themselves facing no good option between risking air quality restrictions that could prohibit economic growth, or forcing residents to purchase expensive new wood stoves that meet new regulations. These communities ended up spending $1.5 million to help consumers afford new stoves.”

All seven pieces of legislation will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration. For more information on today’s markup, including a background memo, archived webcast, amendments, vote tallies, and text of legislation, click here.

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