WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 1, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (PA-4) continued his efforts this week to remove government barriers to the development of hydropower in the U.S. by sponsoring an amendment to H.R. 2028, the Energy-Water Appropriations bill for FY2016 that would restore funding for this vital energy resource. Hydropower is the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the U.S., creating thousands of jobs (including many in the 4th District) and providing power to millions of Americans at low cost.
“This bipartisan amendment increases funding for hydropower development – without adding to our debt,” said Rep. Perry. “Hydropower is vitally important to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and unlike some other renewable energy sources; it’s reliable and available in every region of the country.”
Rep. Perry joined Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-4) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1) in sponsoring an amendment to restore $9 million in funding to the Water Power Program and offsetting that cost by reducing funding for administrative costs at the U.S. Department of Energy. That amendment passed the House by voice vote Thursday. Rep. Perry had earlier introduced an amendment to increase funding even further, all of which was also offset by spending cuts elsewhere, but he agreed to the compromise amendment.
Hydropower is our nation’s most available, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy source. Of the approximately 80,000 dams in the U.S., approximately 3 percent currently generate hydropower. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our nation’s energy needs and is vitally important to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
The U.S. produces more electricity from hydropower than from any other renewable electricity source, accounting for 56 percent of renewable generation in 2012 and 7 percent of the nation’s overall electricity generation. Utilizing new technology at existing hydro sites represents an opportunity for enhancing this infrastructure and generating more sustainable power.
Rep. Perry has long advocated that hydropower faces an overly burdensome regulatory approval process that includes multiple federal, state and local governments and other participants. 60,000 megawatts of preliminary permits and projects are currently awaiting final approval in 45 states. Pennsylvania’s potential for hydropower production is among the 10 highest in the U.S. and Rep. Perry will continue to seek avenues to remove government obstacles to unleash that potential energy.