Representative Hastings Introduces Extreme Dams Bill

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Representative Doc Hastings of Washington has introduced an extreme bill that does more harm than good to rivers and hydropower in the United States. The bill titled Saving Our Dams and New Hydropower Development and Jobs Act (H.R. 6247) currently has no co-sponsors.

This comes just a month after the House passed a bipartisan hydropower bill H.R. 5892, Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, also from Washington.

Among other things Hastings bill would-

  • Prohibit federal funds from being used to restore rivers by removing or even studying the removal or any dam, public or private unless explicitly authorized by Congress.
  • Give FERC veto power over resource agencies’ authorities to protect fish and wildlife
  • Prohibit federal operators from releasing water back into rivers before passing through turbines, even during drought emergency.
  • Prohibit federal funds from being used for mitigation activities associated with the removal of any federal or non-federal hydroelectric-producing dam unless explicitly authorized by Congress.

Read related press releases by Coalition members American Rivers and Trout Unlimited.

Chairman Hastings is holding a field hearing on the bill on August 15 in Pasco, Washington which is expected to be heavily attended by supporters of the bill.