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#SubEnergy Advances Five Energy Bills to the Full Committee

Jun 22, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), today advanced five bills to the full committee for consideration that seek to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and promote energy security.

“Today’s markup was an important step toward modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and breaking down barriers to job growth and economic development,” said Chairman Upton. “I look forward to engaging with members of the committee to further perfect the bills and I look forward to building on this momentum as we work to find other areas of bipartisan agreement.” 

#SubEnergy Chair Upton Listens to Debate at Today's Markup

H.R. ____, Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017, passed #SubEnergy by voice vote.  

  • The discussion draft would modernize federal policies by designating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the lead agency for licensing hydropower projects. The legislation would promote affordable, reliable, and renewable hydropower energy.
  • On March 15, 2017, the subcommittee held a hearing examining hydropower and modernizing energy infrastructure.
  • On May 3, 2017, the subcommittee held a legislative hearing on the discussion draft. 

“Hydropower is of particular importance to me. In my home state of Oregon, over 40 percent of our energy is produced from hydropower at relatively low costs to consumers across my district,” said full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “ The two bills before us today make meaningful improvements to the hydropower licensing process.”

H.R.____, Enhancing State Energy Security Planning and Emergency Preparedness Act, passed #SubEnergy by voice vote.

  • The discussion draft would enhance the energy emergency planning requirements of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to strengthen the capability of states to secure the energy infrastructure of the United States against physical and cybersecurity threats; and mitigate the risk of energy supply disruptions.

“Prioritizing and elevating energy security planning and emergency preparedness is an important and timely step in the face of increased risks and interdependencies of energy infrastructure and end-use systems,” stated Chairman Upton.

H.R. 2786, to amend the Federal Power Act with respect to the criteria and process to qualify a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, authored by committee member Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), passed #SubEnergy by voice vote;

  • H.R. 2786 would promote the development of small conduit hydropower facilities, an emerging new source of renewable energy that can be added to existing infrastructure.
  • On May 3, 2017, the subcommittee examined a discussion draft of the legislation.

Discussing his bill, Rep. Hudson commented, “Promoting this affordable source of clean electricity is important to our nation’s all of the above energy strategy. Hydropower remains one of the most efficient and affordable sources of electricity…In North Carolina alone it generates enough electricity to power 350,000 homes each year. Despite its benefits, hydropower’s growth has been stagnant…There are unnecessary regulatory burdens that simply clog up the dam…Congress must remove some of these regulatory roadblocks that inhibit market driven growth.”

H.R. 2883, Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act, authored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), passed #SubEnergy by a vote of 19-12;

  • H.R. 2883 would establish a predictable and transparent process to permit the construction of cross-border pipelines and electric transmission facilities.
  • On May 3, 2017, the subcommittee examined a discussion draft of the legislation.

“We’re not making any changes to any environmental study… This legislation defines border- crossing facility to mean the portion of the pipeline that is located at the international boundary only… This bill has been carefully crafted with bipartisan support to be protective of public safety and the environment,” stated Rep. Mullin.

H.R. 2910, Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act, authored by committee member Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), passed #SubEnergy by a vote of 17-14;

  • H.R. 2910 would promote better coordination among FERC and other agencies involved in siting interstate natural gas pipelines. H.R. 2910 also increases transparency and accountability by requiring more information be disclosed to the public.
  • On May 3, 2017, the subcommittee examined a discussion draft of the legislation.

“America is one of the world’s top oil and gas producers thanks to the shale revolution. Our energy infrastructure and permitting process must be updated to reflect America’s abundance of domestic energy resources. Modernizing the permitting process for the nation’s pipeline infrastructure allows us to efficiently and safely bring those resources to our downstream assets, ultimately to consumers, to power our economy, and to give opportunities to our hard-working American families,” commented Rep. Flores.   

Full Committee Chairman Walden Delivers His Opening Statement

“Cumulatively, these bills represent an important step in our efforts to put consumers’ interest first while working to enact reforms that build on our energy infrastructure, and grow our economy and create good jobs,” concluded Chairman Walden. “I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan manner as we track towards a full committee markup.”

Electronic copies of the legislation, a background memo, amendment text and votes can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website HERE.