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Udall Welcomes Senate Passage of Bills He Championed to Encourage Development of Hydro-Electric Power

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013

Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed the Senate's passage late yesterday of two bills aimed at encouraging the development of hydroelectric power. Udall, who supported both bipartisan bills, called it a major victory for the United States' pursuit of energy self-reliance.

The first bill, the bipartisan Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, would cut regulatory red tape and allow the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to move forward with developing small hydro-electric power projects on its conduits. The second bill, the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013, would establish an expedited process for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sign off on qualifying hydro-power projects.

"Just as water makes the West as we know it possible, hydro-power plays an important role in supplying our country with clean, renewable energy. I am proud the Senate stood with me and passed these important, bipartisan bills that will unleash the potential of hydro-power on waterways across Colorado and throughout the country," Udall said. "We still have work to do to achieve true energy self-reliance, but these bills help move the ball down the field."

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, hydro-electric energy generates nearly one-tenth of the electricity in the United States.

Udall recently launched a series of roundtables and other events with Colorado energy industry officials, local leaders and the public to highlight how Colorado's balanced approach to energy development and innovation is a model for the country. As part of his tour, Udall has visited several energy-development projects, including Adolfson & Peterson's solar thermal unit in Aurora, the National Wind Technology Center in Louisville and the Elk Creek Mine and methane-capture project in Somerset.

By: Mike Saccone
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