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Congressman Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd District of Colorado

Tipton Reintroduces Pro-Jobs Hydropower Bill with Senate Companion

February 13, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C.Today, Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03) reintroduced a measure to increase the production of clean, renewable hydropower and create rural jobs. Tipton first introduced The Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act last Congress, and passed it through the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. In September of last year, the bill received a hearing in the Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, but time ran out in the session to pass the bill.

Tipton is again joined by a bipartisan group of original cosponsors including: Reps. Paul Gosar (AZ), Jim Costa (CA), Tom McClintock (CA), Adrian Smith (NE), Mark Amodei (NV), Kevin Cramer (ND), Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Mike Coffman (CO). Tipton and his House colleagues are also joined by Sens. John Barrasso (WY), Jim Risch (ID), Mike Enzi (WY), and Mike Crapo (ID), who are introducing the bill in the Senate.

The Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act streamlines the regulatory process and reduces administrative costs for small hydropower development at the Bureau of Reclamation’s facilities while supporting the creation of badly needed rural jobs.  It also provides more permitting certainty to those seeking to inject non-federal financing of these projects. This legislation could help facilitate hydropower development in at least 373 of the federal agency’s canals and pipelines, as identified in a Bureau of Reclamation March 2012 report. 

“Hydropower is a key piece of the all-of-the-above energy plan that I strongly support. Increasing responsible production of clean, renewable hydropower presents valuable opportunities to send affordable power directly to the grid and create new jobs in rural America,” Tipton said. “I am proud of the progress we made on this legislation in the last Congress, and encouraged by the support we are receiving in both the House and Senate as we reintroduce this commonsense legislation.”

Hydropower is the highest source of non-carbon emitting energy in the world and accounts for approximately 75% of the United States’ total renewable electricity generation, making it the leading renewable energy source of power. Colorado has a significant opportunity to follow the lead of many of its western neighbors and expand on this clean, renewable source of power while creating badly needed jobs for the 3rd District and state of Colorado. 

The updated version of the legislation would take even greater advantage of this clean, renewable energy source by increasing the size of applicable projects from 1.5 megawatts to 5 megawatts (enough energy for 5,000 homes).