Is there still hope for hydropower licensing reform?
Yes, but not part of a 2018 Comprehensive Energy Bill
During the National Hydropower Association’s Waterpower Week, I participated in their advocacy program. To amplify the voice of the hydropower industry, NHA scheduled visits for attendees with House and Senate representatives and their staff. We wanted to show the depth and breadth of support for hydropower and the need for reform.
As President of the Midwest Hydro Users Group, I used this opportunity to visit with Senate staff and emphasize the need for federal support of hydropower in the United States. I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of backing for hydropower expressed during these meetings. My conversations with legislative staff were very positive, with feedback indicating substantial favor for tax incentives, appropriations and licensing reform.
Even with verbal reassurance, it is highly doubtful there is time to draft and pass a comprehensive Energy Bill that includes provisions for more support of hydropower in the current 116th Session of Congress. If any improvements for hydropower licensing can be made, the provisions will need to be inserted into other active bills in this session.
I encourage you to reach out to your federal legislators to support the hydropower industry by seeking solutions in this session. If you’d like to discuss this or other Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hydropower licensing related concerns, please give me a call.
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