Bingaman Hearing Statement: “Energy-Water Integration Act”

March 10, 2009
10:54 AM
“As most everyone is aware, this meeting is a continuation of our series of energy-related hearings.  The subjects addressed in previous hearings involved matters that have come before the Committee before.  Today’s focus, however, is on a new subject that involves issues likely to intensify in the coming years.
“Energy production requires substantial amounts of water - this is of course a resource becoming increasingly scarce in several parts of the country.  Whether it involves electricity generation or fuel production, the choice of fuel stock can dramatically influence the amount of water needed as part of the process of producing that energy.  That nexus is starting to emerge in permitting decisions across the country. 
“Similarly, acquiring, treating, and delivering water consumes a large amount of energy.  Improving water use efficiencies, may yield multiple benefits in the form of reduced water demand during times of shortage, and reduced energy consumption with attendant cost-savings that result from reduced energy production.
“Given the importance of these issues and the need to highlight the relationship between water and energy, Senator Murkowski and I introduced S.531, the Energy and Water Integration Act of 2009.  I believe this bill is a good first step towards integrating energy and water policy.  We may need to do more, and I look forward to today’s testimony to help inform our understanding in these areas.  Developing new policies that integrate energy and water solutions will become increasingly vital as populations grow, environmental needs increase, and a changing climate continues to affect our energy and water resources.
“We’re lucky to have a group of well-qualified witnesses here today to give their views on the bill, and to discuss the energy-water nexus in general.  We appreciate their in being here.”
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