A bipartisan group of House members has formed a Congressional Hydropower Caucus to educate other members and staff about the benefits of hydropower.
The Congressional Hydropower Caucus plans to:
o Promote hydropower as a clean, renewable, emissions-free, and relatively low-cost generation resource, especially in the context of energy supply, electric reliability, and global climate change legislation and research;
o Recognize the value hydropower provides as a firming resource for intermittent renewable electricity generation, including wind and solar;
o Protect conventional hydropower generation facilities and promote expansion of conventional hydropower;
o Advocate pumped storage and low-head hydro on canals and pipelines where feasible, and emerging technologies such as ocean wave, tidal, and hydrokinetic power.
The caucus also plans to conduct information briefings and activities to facilitate greater awareness of hydropower.
Representatives named four co-chairmen July 24: Reps. Jim Costa, D-Calif., Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Adrian Smith, R-Neb.
Costa, chair of the House Energy and Minerals Resources Subcommittee, said he believes it is possible to strike a proper balance of developing the nation’s resources and maintaining good environmental stewardship.
ï¿½Hydropower is today, and has been, a clean, renewable resource,ï¿½ Costa said. ï¿½We can improve the use of hydropower and add it to our energy toolbox to help meet our nation’s need for reliable power.ï¿½
Napolitano said hydropower is an important piece of the puzzle to achieving energy independence and addressing global climate change.
McMorris Rodgers added: ï¿½At a time of growing energy demand, it makes no sense to throw this energy source away. I am committed, as we move forward with the debate on global climate change, and how to reduce our carbon emissions, that hydropower be recognized for the important role it has played in the Pacific Northwest.ï¿½
Smith said hydropower offers a viable option for consumers while its reservoir system provides optimal habitat for many species of fish and wildlife.