Week ending June 23, 2017
H.R.1967 – Bureau of Reclamation Pumped Storage Hydropower Development Act
H.R. 1967 authorizes pumped storage at Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) facilities in order to clear up regulatory confusion and stimulate non-federal pumped storage hydropower development in the seventeen western states.
The arid western United States, once sparsely populated due in large part to scarce water supplies, is now home to more than 70 million people and is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Reclamation, a federal agency created in 1902, played a pivotal role in developing and maintaining much of the water infrastructure in the West. Many of Reclamation’s projects are multi-purpose in nature, and its reservoirs and dams further generate enough emissions-free electricity to serve at least 3.5 million homes annually. This is accomplished through the operation of 53 hydroelectric power plants that, according to Reclamation, have annually produced an average of 40 billion kilowatt (kW) hours over the last 10 years. Nationally, hydropower accounts for almost 7% of domestic electricity generation, divided equally between federal and non-federal output.
(Full text of H.R. 1967 at congress.gov)
Sponsor: Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5] (Introduced 04/06/2017)
Status: Passed House /
VOTES and FLOOR ACTION
On Passage: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
Motion to recommit:
Text of the motion:
COST AND IMPACT
Cost to the taxpayers: Under current law, nonfederal entities that propose to develop facilities for pumped storage hydropower at reservoirs administered by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) must enter into a lease contract with the bureau; at some reservoirs those entities need to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). (Pumped storage hydropower is a type of storage for hydroelectric energy used by electric power systems for load balancing.) H.R. 1967 would make the BOR the sole regulatory authority for pumped storage developers that are currently subject to regulation by both BOR and FERC.
CBO expects that BOR would need to allocate additional staff hours to negotiate lease agreements, but based on an analysis of information from BOR, CBO estimates that those costs would be insignificant and subject to the availability of appropriated funds. In addition, FERC recovers 100 percent of its costs, which are controlled by annual appropriations through user fees. Thus any reduction in FERC’s cost resulting from shifting its licensing responsibilities to BOR would be offset by an equal change in fees, resulting in no net change in discretionary spending.
Pay-as-you-go requirements: pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply..
Regulatory and Other Impact: H.R. 1967 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would benefit public entities that develop storage projects at BOR facilities.
Dynamic Scoring: CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1967 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028
Tax Complexity: Not applicable to this bill.
Earmark Certification: No earmarks
Duplication of programs: No duplication
Direct Rule-Making: No rulemaking
Advisory Committee Statement: No committee formed
Budget Authority: Data not available
Constitutional Authority: Assumed.
More Bill Information:
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