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Committee Passes Bipartisan Bill to Safeguard Electric Transmission, Enhance Grid Reliability


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2017 -

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 1873, the “Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act,” bipartisan vote of 24-14. Representatives Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the bipartisan bill to improve the safety and reliability of the electric grid on federal lands.

I am very pleased that this bill passed through committee with strong bipartisan support. Rep. Schrader and I have worked together to ensure this legislation moves forward and addresses a real world problem affecting forest health and safety. Our bill removes existing red tape that will allow for more streamlined removal of trees that have potential of falling on a power line and causing blackouts or forest fires, as has occurred before. We’ve had strong support from both sides of the aisle along with many local utility companies and power providers located in Northern California and beyond. I’m pleased to see this bill progress through committee quickly and I look forward to a vote on the House floor soon,” LaMalfa said.

Our bill is a no-brainer and a great example of the bipartisan work this Congress can achieve when we work together. This bill will finally cut the red tape to create a streamlined and consistent process for removing hazardous trees and vegetation without wasting time and money before it can cause a wildfire. Preventing forest fires and maintaining a reliable electrical grid for our communities is an obvious priority for everybody,” Schrader stated.

Background:

H.R. 1873 provides streamlined processes for the removal of hazardous vegetative overgrowth adjacent to transmission and distribution lines on federal lands, reducing the threat of wildfires and enhancing electric grid reliability. Additional cosponsors include Reps. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Jim Costa (D-CA), Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ).

The bill is endorsed by the Western Governors’ Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

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Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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