House Committee Passes Rep. Peters’ Bill to Cut Red Tape for Hydropower Projects
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed U.S. Congressman Scott Peters’ (CA-52) Hydropower Permit Extension, or “HYPE” Act, to cut red tape in the construction permitting process for hydropower projects and incentivize greater investment in carbon-free hydropower. The HYPE Act will now move on to be considered by the full House of Representatives.
“Hydropower is a source of carbon-free, baseload electricity that can help us reduce pollution and meet our clean energy goals,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “The HYPE Act would ensure more approved hydropower projects get built, providing greater certainty and encouraging more investment in clean energy. I appreciate the bipartisan support to pass it through committee, and will continue working to get it passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law.”
Today, the Energy & Commerce Committee also considered a number of bills that involve extending the construction permit for specific hydropower projects. If the HYPE Act were to become law, Congress would spend far less time debating bills that simply extend construction permits.
The HYPE Act gives already-approved hydropower projects an extra year on their initial permit to begin construction. It also grants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to give hydropower projects a four-year extension if delays prevent them from beginning construction during the initial permit. Most hydropower projects do not require the full length of the permit to begin construction, but for those that experience delays, this bill will give them more time and greater certainty. Right now, it requires an act of Congress to extend construction permits for hydropower projects, even though these projects have already undergone rigorous approval processes.