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New Resolution Could Make Hydroelectic Power a Renewable Resource

February 18, 2013

A new resolution in the State House of Representatives hopes to amend the state Constitution to require that hydroelectric generation be recognized as a renewable resource.

House Republicans have put out a new package of bills that they say are meant to create jobs and grow the economy. Included in this package is a resolution that could also ease limitations on the Grays Harbor PUD.

Locally, the PUD uses power sent from the Bonneville Power Administration via the hydroelectric dams in the Northwest. Under current legislation with the Energy Independence Act, hydroelectric power is not considered renewable.

Under the legislation, U.S. electric utilities must obtain 15 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind or solar by 2020. This forces agencies to pursue avenues such as wind farms to generate power that local representatives say they don’t need.

The goal of the Energy Independence Act, among other things, was to increase the production of clean renewable fuels nationwide.

House Joint Resolution 4200 states that “Recognizing this energy generation source as renewable will stabilize energy prices for Washington residents and protect clean air and water.”

This bill has been moved into the House Environment Committee. While not on their upcoming agendas, the committee has a hearing regarding a measure similar to this on their Tuesday agenda allowing hydroelectric energy to qualify for renewable energy credit.

PUD

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