Daines, Tester Introduce Two Bills to Complete Montana Hydro Projects

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester today introduced legislation to ensure the completion of two hydroelectric facilities in Montana.

The bills will 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 critical for tax revenue and jobs in Montana communities,” Daines stated. “These bills will help create more Montana made energy projects that provide a reliable source of energy and will create good-paying jobs.”  

“Montana has incredible energy resources and the Gibson and Clark Canyon Dam projects will responsibly develop those and create good-paying jobs for Montana,” Tester said.  “Reducing our dependence on foreign oil and putting Montanans to work in the process is Montana common sense.” 

The Montana delegation introduced these bills in the 114th Congress. They passed out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on July 30, 2015. Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation on March 15, 2016.

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”