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house Bill H.R. 2274

Should the Feds Offer Longer Extensions for Hydropower Construction Permits?

Argument in favor

Hydropower is one of the few carbon-free energy sources that provides reliable electricity, and development of this clean energy is hampered by burdensome regulation that would be alleviated by this bipartisan bill.

Eva's Opinion
···
06/11/2017
Allowing for more time to build these plants allows constructors to consider environmental impacts more thoroughly and put us on the path toward clean energy
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KYvoter1's Opinion
···
06/11/2017
This bill has nothing to do with promoting one energy source over another. It simply makes the construction process for hydro a little more efficient. Good bill to pass.
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Richard's Opinion
···
06/11/2017
Evidently there is a need to lengthen the existing extensions available to builders in the hydropower construction permitting process or this bill would not have been proposed. Making it easier to facilitate construction of this greener energy technology should be a no-brainer.
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Argument opposed

There shouldn’t be a need to lengthen the existing extensions available to builders in the hydropower construction permitting process.

Laura's Opinion
···
06/12/2017
While I support the pursuit of clean energy this bill makes me nervous for a couple of reasons: 1. Anytime Congress starts talking about matters that impact the environment and deregulation in the same sentence there is cause to pause, step back and take a much closer look. The same is true here. 2. While hydropower is "clean energy" it does not come without significant cost and risks. Dams can have real consequences for both ecosystems and local communities. One of the things in particular that bothers me about this proposal is how long projects can be extended. Under this bill by the time a contractor goes to work previous environmental and community impact studies could no longer be reflective of current conditions. 3. This just seems too vague and too much like a bureaucratic rubber stamp. I understand delays happen (especially in construction) and that there needs to be a way to address them, but I have too many questions about how this bill would be applied and whether it would truly be in the best interest of the environment and local communities to support it right now. There probably is a need for change, but I'm not convinced this bill is the best response. I also have a question about cost. We all know the longer a construction project drags on the more it usually ends up costing. Who absorbs those costs? Surely doesn't seem right if it is the government or local communities.
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Audrey's Opinion
···
06/11/2017
We have seen the damage done by many dams in the Pacific Northwest that are now being deconstructed in an effort to improve the environment. The biggest fear is that the "lack of oversight and regulation" will permit some to proceed without sufficient environmental studies and the harm that is more than possible with a poorly thought out plan. Reminder of what happened recently in Missouri during massive flooding planes around nuclear plant. That should be a consideration, not ignored which is what 'fewer regulations / oversight ' which is what will happen.
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Lisa's Opinion
···
06/11/2017
Although hydropower is a "clean" source of energy, it has enormous environmental impacts, primarily changing thr ecosystem. I think it would be wise to pusue other, less damaging forms of clean energy.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 12th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Energy
    IntroducedMay 1st, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2274?

This bill — known as the HYPE Act — would look to reduce regulatory burdens in the hydropower construction process by letting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issue preliminary permits for four years instead of three. FERC would also be allowed to extend a preliminary permit once for up to four years plus an additional four year extension if extraordinary circumstances warrant the additional extension. Additionally, FERC would be able to extend the time a licensee has to start construction on a project for up to eight years, rather than two years as current law allows.

The bill’s full title is the HYdropower Permit Extension Act.

Impact

Hydroelectric construction projects; and FERC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2274

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced this bill to cut red tape in the construction permitting process for hydropower projects:

“For projects that are delayed and unable to break ground under their first permit, this bill will give them the certainty that they will not need to rely on Congress to get an extension. Making them start from scratch because of a delay doesn’t help the communities that want the clean power or the firms that have already made an investment to secure the permit in the first place. This commonsense fix will improve flexibility to incentivize greater investment in hydropower as we move towards a clean energy future.”

This legislation was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee by unanimous consent.

 

Of Note: In 2015, hydropower produced approximately 6.5 percent of all U.S. electricity, which accounted for 35 percent of all renewable electricity.

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Public Domain)

AKA

HYdropower Permit Extension Act

Official Title

To amend the Federal Power Act to provide for extended periods relating to preliminary permits and commencement of construction, and for other purposes.

    Allowing for more time to build these plants allows constructors to consider environmental impacts more thoroughly and put us on the path toward clean energy
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    While I support the pursuit of clean energy this bill makes me nervous for a couple of reasons: 1. Anytime Congress starts talking about matters that impact the environment and deregulation in the same sentence there is cause to pause, step back and take a much closer look. The same is true here. 2. While hydropower is "clean energy" it does not come without significant cost and risks. Dams can have real consequences for both ecosystems and local communities. One of the things in particular that bothers me about this proposal is how long projects can be extended. Under this bill by the time a contractor goes to work previous environmental and community impact studies could no longer be reflective of current conditions. 3. This just seems too vague and too much like a bureaucratic rubber stamp. I understand delays happen (especially in construction) and that there needs to be a way to address them, but I have too many questions about how this bill would be applied and whether it would truly be in the best interest of the environment and local communities to support it right now. There probably is a need for change, but I'm not convinced this bill is the best response. I also have a question about cost. We all know the longer a construction project drags on the more it usually ends up costing. Who absorbs those costs? Surely doesn't seem right if it is the government or local communities.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    We have seen the damage done by many dams in the Pacific Northwest that are now being deconstructed in an effort to improve the environment. The biggest fear is that the "lack of oversight and regulation" will permit some to proceed without sufficient environmental studies and the harm that is more than possible with a poorly thought out plan. Reminder of what happened recently in Missouri during massive flooding planes around nuclear plant. That should be a consideration, not ignored which is what 'fewer regulations / oversight ' which is what will happen.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Although hydropower is a "clean" source of energy, it has enormous environmental impacts, primarily changing thr ecosystem. I think it would be wise to pusue other, less damaging forms of clean energy.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    Clean energy all the way
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill has nothing to do with promoting one energy source over another. It simply makes the construction process for hydro a little more efficient. Good bill to pass.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Evidently there is a need to lengthen the existing extensions available to builders in the hydropower construction permitting process or this bill would not have been proposed. Making it easier to facilitate construction of this greener energy technology should be a no-brainer.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    We have many other ways to produce clean energy. Dams do not emit co2 or methane but it can and does damage ecosystem.
    Like (11)
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    Despite potential environmental issues that dams (especially those not adequately maintained) might create, we need to move toward energy sources other than fossil fuels.
    Like (11)
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    Clean energy is what we need to pursue. Giving an extra year is the right thing to do
    Like (8)
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    Hydro is a great alternative but also the environment that a dam will impact must be fully investigated to enter the least amount of damage is done to the environment
    Like (8)
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    Yes...a "no brainer"...👍
    Like (6)
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    Hydropower is one of the few carbon-free energy sources that provides reliable electricity, and development of this clean energy is hampered by burdensome regulation that would be alleviated by this bipartisan bill.
    Like (5)
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    Hydropower is an awesome source of energy. It's clean, and lots of jobs in order to build them.
    Like (5)
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    Oh, boo hoo, poor companies who have their hands tied because of all those pesky restrictions. They forget that the restrictions are there because of the things they've done that daged environments and ecosystems. Kill a salmon run, wipe out a town or two, and people dand restrictions.
    Like (5)
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    Less regulation on dams is bad policy.
    Like (4)
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    Construction permit's should NEVER be handled by anyway on the federal level. All construction permit's should be carried out by state and city governments. The 10 amendment to the Constitution gives States rights to choose what to do and what not to do.
    Like (4)
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    Many dams have displaced many native Americans from their tribal lands with total disregard. Hydro power is carbon free but the disenfranchised tribes need to have a voice when their land is involved
    Like (3)
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    Reduce all regulations.
    Like (3)
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    Please invest in sustainable energy! :( If you don't want to pay attention to the science like you should, let's work together and make it economically undeniable. It just takes reform and that reform can't happen with big companies controlling you or without compromise. Also, hire me! Let's regenerate the USA together! :)
    Like (3)
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