On July 15, the US Senate confirmed two members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Current Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, who has served as acting chair since November 2013, was confirmed by a 90-7 vote. Norman Bay, who is currently the head of the Office of Enforcement was confirmed by a narrower 52-45 vote. He was nominated by the President to serve as the Chair.
After years of fighting on behalf of the Twin Falls on the Snake River in Idaho, Coalition members recently secured a victory to protect the Falls from drying up.
In 1995, Idaho Power Company, the operator of the Twin Falls hydropower project, proposed to reduce the amount of water flowing through the falls to generate more power. While doing so would have eliminated the natural beauty of the Twin Falls and deprived thousands of visitors of the majestic view that the Falls offers, it would have increased Idaho Power’s income by a mere $50,000 a year.
On January 15, 2014, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a report that concluded hydropower from British Columbia (BC) is not eligible as renewable in California (CA) and recommended not revising (i.e. weakening) the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) hydropower regulations to allow eligibility. This effectively closes the door on a terrible idea and long process that began in 2008 for California Hydropower Reform Coalition members and BC river advocates.