Senate Approves Costa Bill to Create Jobs, Clean Energy

Washington, DC- Last night the Senate approved legislation to put the nation’s waterways to work producing clean, affordable energy at no cost to taxpayers. Costa joined Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) in sponsoring H.R. 678, the Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act. Specifically, the bill streamlines the path for development of small hydropower projects on existing Bureau of Reclamation projects creating rural jobs and modernizing the nation’s water infrastructure. It is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“Strengthening our energy portfolio starts with taking commonsense actions to fully utilize what we already have,” said Costa. “Every day, water flows thousands of miles across this nation in canals, pipelines, and ditches, but because of regulatory barriers we miss opportunities to maximize its potential. My bill empowers rural communities to create jobs and generate clean, renewable energy.”

H.R. 678 would empower local water agencies and irrigation districts to develop small conduit hydropower that would stimulate rural economies and reduce the pumping costs local farmers face each year.

The Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act has been endorsed by American Rivers, the Family Farm Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, and the American Public Power Association, among others.