Daines Applauds House Passage of Legislation to Expand Montana Hydro

U.S. SENATE — Senator Steve Daines today applauded the House of Representative’s passage of legislation to ensure the completion of two hydroelectric facilities in Montana.  

The legislation would provide for the reinstatement and three-year extension of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license for Clark Canyon Dam Hydro Project in Dillon, Montana and a six-year extension of the FERC license for the Gibson Dam Hydro Project near Augusta, Montana.

“The Gibson Dam and Clark Canyon Dam are two projects that are critical for tax revenue and jobs in Montana communities,” Daines stated. “I’m excited to see bipartisan support for the completion of made-in Montana energy projects that provide a reliable source of energy and will create more good-paying jobs.” 

Daines is a proponent of an all-of-the-above energy plan that encompasses coal, oil and natural gas, hydro, wind, and biomass. He recently toured the Rainbow Dam in Great Falls to see firsthand the operations of a hydropower facility. 

More information on the economic benefits of the hydroelectric projects is available below:

Clark Canyon Dam:

  • Create 30 to 40 jobs during construction and one to two full time jobs for the next 50+ years
  • Reduce over 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year
  • Power 1,200 homes annually
  • Produce $611,000 in state and federal taxes over the first five years of operation
  • Produce $37,000 in property tax contributions over the first five years

Gibson Dam:

  • Create 15 to 25 jobs and up to $5 million in wages during construction
  • Provide 50 to 100 years of stable tax revenues for Teton and Lewis and Clark Counties, averaging $500,000 annually per county
  • Reduce more than 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year
  • Strengthen the irrigation component of the Gibson Dam
  •  $1 million in local purchases over two years
  • Sun River Electric Cooperative will receive over $200,000 per year in a “wheeling fee” 

The legislation passed by the House of Representatives is companion legislation to Daines’ bills which were unanimously passed out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 30, 2015 and received a legislative hearing on May 19, 2015. Senator Jon Tester joined Daines in introducing both bills on April 28, 2015