Daines Calls for Passage of Largest Bipartisan Hydropower Permitting Reform Bill in Two Decades

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines, at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing, highlighted his bipartisan “Community and Hydropower Improvement Act” and called on the committee to pass his bill that would streamline the permitting and licensing process, boost hydropower in Montana and increase tribal engagement.

Listen to Daines’ full remarks HERE.

“The ‘Community and Hydropower Improvement Act’ streamlines permitting and licensing as well as increases tribal engagement. The bill creates an expedited licensing process for powering non-powered dams and building closed loop pumped storage. It limits the scope of environmental review and mitigation to real, on the ground and ongoing efforts. It increases tribal engagement by including tribes in the licensing and conditioning process. And it promotes healthy habitats through fish passage and downstream improvements. Let’s be clear: this bill is a compromise, with very diverse stakeholder engagement throughout the process. I encourage my colleagues and stakeholders to look at the bill as a whole. In order to make meaningful change, all sides had to come together, must come together, negotiate a deal and move forward as one. And that’s what the ‘Community and Hydropower Improvement Act’ does. Hydropower is critical to helping meet our country’s energy needs. It is safe, reliable, affordable and provides good-paying jobs. With hydropower producing a third of all renewable energy and over 6 percent of all electricity in the United States, our bipartisan permitting bill must be included in any permitting reform discussion.”

In May, Daines introduced the bipartisan bill with Senator Maria Cantwell.

Supporters of the “Community and Hydropower Improvement Act”:

  • American Rivers
  • American Whitewater
  • American Public Power Association
  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Clearpath Action
  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
  • California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
  • Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions
  • Edison Electric Institute
  • Energy Keepers, Inc
  • Fall River Electric Cooperative
  • Former FERC: Chairman Norman Bay, Chairman Neil Chatterjee Chairman Richard Glick, Commissioner Tony Clark, Commissioner Phillip Moeller
  • Friends of the River
  • 25 hydropower industry leaders including:
    • New England Hydropower Company
    • Seattle City Light
    • Georgia Power
    • Southern Company
    • Berkshire Hathaway Energy
  • Montana Electric Cooperative Association
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • National Hydropower Association
  • National Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • NorthWestern Energy
  • Northern California Power Agency
  • PNGC Power
  • Pacific NorthWest Economic Region
  • The Permitting Institute
  • Ravalli Electric Cooperative
  • Skokomish Indian Tribe
  • Union of Concerned Scientists


Contact: Matt LloydRachel DumkeBlake Kernen