Newhouse, Herrera Beutler Amendment to Classify Hydropower Among Renewable Sources of Energy Passes House

June 24, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced an amendment to H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015, which would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize hydropower as a renewable energy source under the EPA’s carbon reduction regulations. The amendment was approved by a voice vote:

“It is time for the federal government to recognize that energy production does not get cleaner than hydropower,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The contribution of hydropower as a source of clean, affordable, renewable energy should be taken into account by the EPA.  Hydropower produces sustainable, low-cost energy to power homes and businesses in Washington State and across the country. Hydropower is an important source of energy that encourages American energy independence and should be recognized as a renewable. This amendment addresses the unfair carbon reduction targets placed on states—many in the Pacific Northwest—with hydropower generation and enables those states to meet any potential final carbon reduction goals.”

“Hydropower keeps our economy running in Southwest Washington,” said Jaime. “This inexpensive, clean, renewable energy source is a key resource that continues to attract employers to our region. I’ll keep working to put hydropower at the center of our nation’s energy policy so we can keep the utility bills of businesses and ratepayers as affordable as possible.” 

Click here to watch Rep. Newhouse’s floor speech introducing the amendment.

The EPA failed to designate existing hydropower as a renewable energy source in the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). Because of the EPA’s failure to count hydropower among clean energy sources, states with large amounts of existing hydroelectric power – such as Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, and Idaho – are significantly disadvantaged under the rule and will not get credit for their existing hydroelectric generation and infrastructure. 

In May, Rep. Newhouse sponsored an amendment to the FY 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to support water storage projects by preventing any funding from being used to remove any federally-owned or operated dams.

Rep. Newhouse is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.