Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Greg Walden helps advance eight bills to modernize energy infrastructure, improve environmental laws, and promote job growth in Oregon

June 28, 2017
Press Release

Greg Walden helps advance eight bills to modernize energy infrastructure, improve environmental laws, and promote job growth in Oregon

Highlights positive impact of legislation for Oregonians

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today helped advance eight pieces of legislation to modernize energy infrastructure, improve environmental laws, and promote job growth in Oregon. During today’s legislative session, Walden highlighted the positive impact these bills would have for Oregonians. A full transcript of Walden’s remarks is included below:

“While a great deal of the news this year has been focused on health care, both the Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Environment have been quietly working on legislation that truly makes a difference for folks across the country. We’ve examined barriers to modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure and looked at opportunities to modernize our environmental laws with an eye on doing what’s best for consumers, the environment, and businesses across the country. To date, the committee has held over 10 energy infrastructure hearings and roundtables and has heard from scores of witnesses. All of this work has brought us here today and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance these eight bills to the full House for consideration on the floor.

“While these bills may not grab the headlines or the attention they deserve, let’s be real folks, we’re doing some big things here today that will have a tremendous impact on consumers, the environment, and the economy in the years ahead.

“We’ve worked in a bipartisan manner on legislation to authorize the Brownfields Program for the first time since 2006. We’re moving forward on a bipartisan solution to finally have the federal government fulfill its obligations to manage spent nuclear fuel. We’re modernizing our siting and permitting processes for natural gas pipelines and hydropower facilities. We’re taking important steps to ensure the reliability of our electric grid while strengthening states’ capabilities to secure the nation’s energy infrastructure against physical and cybersecurity threats. And we’re also providing states the flexibility needed to implement important air quality standards on an efficient and realistic timeline.

“In my home state of Oregon, these bills will help us unlock hydropower’s potential, take steps towards cleaning up the Hanford Site, and strengthen the Brownfields Program to redevelop contaminated sites. All that we do here, we do for our constituents back home that sent us to Washington and entrusted us with the confidence to get things done.

“I’m proud of this committee’s record when it comes to working with one another in a bipartisan manner. While we may not agree on all the bills before us today, I know each one of us wants to do what’s best for consumers back home. If we put consumer’s interest first, we will develop solid, sustainable public policy, because that means we’ve created consumer driven markets that work, expanded consumer choices and supported a more vibrant, job-producing economy. 

“I believe the eight bills before us today fit that consumer-first, market-driven mentality. I stand ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact these reforms that build on our nation’s energy abundance, modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure and environmental laws, and promote domestic manufacturing and job growth.”

Of the bills advanced in the Energy and Commerce Committee today, three are of particular importance to Oregon. Walden has emphasized the potential of these bills to grow hydropower in Oregon, improve the management of nuclear waste in the Pacific Northwest, and promote the Brownfields Program that has had great success in Walden’s district.

The Hydropower Modernization Act would help expand hydropower in Oregon by streamlining the permitting process for hydro projects. Hydropower accounts for more than 40% of Oregon’s energy production, and Walden is working to ensure its continued growth as part of the Pacific Northwest’s energy mix.

Walden’s committee also advanced the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act. In a recent opinion piece, Walden touted the importance of this legislation to help cleanup nuclear waste across the country, including at the Hanford Site, which sits just 40 miles north of Walden’s district. You can read his full op-ed here.

Another important piece of legislation passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee today is the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Development, and Reauthorization Act.  This bill authorizes the Brownfields Program for the first time since 2006 and makes it easier for smaller communities like those in Walden’s district to participate in the process of brownfields cleanup and redevelopment.

All three of these bills now head to the full House of Representatives for a vote. For a complete background on all eight pieces of legislation advanced in Walden’s committee today, please click here.