Senate Energy Bill Update #23 (!Viva FERC on Hydro!)

July 23, 2003
12:00 AM
“FERC’s action today to streamline the licensing of hydroelectric projects is certainly welcome. Hydropower plays a central role in our nation’s energy mix, and dam relicensing has become an unduly complex, lengthy and difficult process in grave need of improvement. The sweeping changes called for in this final rule are intended to result in a faster and more efficient process, improve coordination between FERC and other federal agencies, address problems with environmental reviews and enhance opportunities for public participation. “Ironically, while FERC is taking one step forward today, the Senate is poised to take two steps backward next week. The hydro relicensing provisions currently in the Senate energy bill will add years to the process, introduce new complexity in the proceedings, reduce public participation and cut Indian tribes and others out of important aspects of the process. Senator Inouye and I plan to offer an amendment to S. 14 that will correct these serious problems.”