In Support of the Inclusion of Energy Provisions in Infrastructure Legislation
Sponsors: Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities; Northwest Public Power Association
In the first half of 2017, the House Energy & Commerce, House Natural Resources, and Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committees held hearings focused on policy changes to promote energy infrastructure and potentially be included in infrastructure legislation. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held hearings in March on opportunities to improve American energy infrastructure. The House Energy & Commerce Committee held several hearings on expanding energy infrastructure, as well as a legislative hearing on draft bills to promote hydropower and natural gas pipeline infrastructure. These hearings focused on the need to improve the hydropower licensing and relicensing process, as well as to streamline the interstate natural gas pipeline permitting process – both public power policy priorities. In addition, the House Natural Resources Committee has held several hearings on infrastructure development and approved legislation to facilitate vegetation management around electric infrastructure on federal lands – another public power priority.
The activities of all three committees build upon the work done in the 114th Congress on comprehensive energy legislation. Public power greatly appreciates that both the House and Senate energy committees recognize all hydropower as an important source of renewable power and the need to make long overdue changes to the licensing and relicensing process. Public power also appreciates that both committees understand the need to expedite the permitting of interstate natural gas pipelines, which are needed to deliver gas to electric utilities for baseload generation and to back up intermittent renewable generation. And in approving bipartisan vegetation management legislation (H.R. 1873) earlier this spring, the House Natural Resources Committee demonstrated it understands the importance of ensuring electric reliability and preventing forest fires by enabling vegetation management practices near electric infrastructure located on federal lands.
The American Public Power Association (APPA) supports the inclusion of these important policy provisions into the energy title of infrastructure legislation. Their inclusion will promote the improvement of the nation’s hydropower, pipeline, and electric infrastructure at no cost to the federal government.
NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: The American Public Power Association (APPA) encourages Congress to pass legislation to improve the hydropower licensing and relicensing process; streamline the permitting process for interstate natural gas pipelines; and to facilitate vegetation management near electric facilities located on federal lands; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: APPA supports the inclusion of hydropower, pipeline, and vegetation management legislation into the energy title of an infrastructure bill.