The Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 678), sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03), is a bipartisan legislation designed to create new American jobs and expand production of clean, renewable hydropower.
Hydropower is one of the cheapest and cleanest forms of electricity. Expanding development will help lower energy costs for American families and small businesses while protecting the environment.
The bill authorizes hydropower development, streamlines the regulatory process, and reduces administrative costs for small canal and pipeline hydropower development projects.
New hydropower development would only take place on existing Bureau of Reclamation canals and pipes. Such man-made facilities are already on disturbed ground, have no environmental impact and have already gone through environmental review.
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.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will generate federal revenue over 10 years through increased hydropower production at no expense to American taxpayers.
The bill protects water users by reaffirming supply and delivery as the first priority, and it ensures that there will be no financial or operational impacts to existing water and power users.
The bill is endorsed by the Family Farm Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, the Association of California Water Agencies, the American Public Power Association, the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, and the Agri-Business Council of Arizona.
The House of Representatives passed nearly identical legislation during the 112th Congress with bipartisan support (Roll Call No. 100).