May 2, 2012

Hydropower focus of energy rates

Bryant Maddrick, 30 April 2012

KENNEWICK, Wash. – The renewable energy mandates imposed by I-937 will soon mean higher power bills for a lot of us because those mandates don’t include hydroelectric power as a renewable resource.

Now a new Department of Energy report could give hydropower supporters some extra muscle in the debate.

In the report released last week, it suggests developing electric power generation at existing dams across the U.S. that aren’t currently equipped to produce power.

The report adds the move would diversify America’s energy portfolio while achieving the Obama administration’s goal of generating 80 percent of our nation’s electricity from clean resources by 2035.

Local lawmakers say having hydropower considered in state energy mandates is important for our area.

“It’s just common sense that when you have 72% of your electrical power being delivered and generated by hydro in this state, we should keep that hydro,” explains Representative Larry Haler.

Haler says he will re-introduce pro hydro legislation in the next session.

Supporters of Initiative 937 say dams have more impact on the environment and can change water flow and temperature… Which can affect fish migration.

They add 937 will save consumers 70 million in electric bills.

URL to article: