Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hastings Introduces Dangerous Pro-Hydropower Bill

Congressman Doc Hastings long time dam hugger and Republican Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee introduced a bill today called the Saving our Dams and New Hydropower Development and Jobs Act. Hastings who hails from eastern Washington, is a long time ally of dam advocates and has fought tirelessly over the last decade to ensure that the discussion on the removal of the four lower Snake River Dams does not move forward. 

While this bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, it would cripple progress towards dam removal and the recovery of wild salmon. Among the more heinous provisions are those that would 
  • Prohibits federal funding for studying or removing dams unless explicitly authorized by congress
  • Prohibit federal funding for organizations that have engaged in legal actions against federal dam projects
  • Prioritizes hydropower generation above other more sustainable energy sources. 
  • Allow private hydropower development 
  • Cutting the cost and regulations associated with dam re-licensing
All in all this bill would spell catastrophe for the nascent dam removal movement and it is critical that it not pass. While it is likely to pass in congress, it is far less likely to pass once it reaches the Senate. We'll keep a close eye on the proceedings and update you as needed. 

1 comment:

Bert said...

Doc Hastings is the Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. I know, I ironic! Nevertheless he is powerful and backed by oil, coal and mining interests. I predict that this bill will eventually become law