Hydropower added as a clean, renewable energy in House

15th District lawmakers pleased at ‘common sense’ decision

In a surprising development, the House of Representatives on Friday adopted an amendment to Senate Bill 5840 to include hydroelectric power as a clean energy resource. It would amend Initiative 937 to continue to provide cheap energy to Washington’s families. Starting in 2012, I-937 requires electricity-generating companies to obtain 3 percent of their electricity from qualified renewable resources.

Representatives Bruce Chandler and David Taylor said they were glad the Legislature has finally joined the rest of the nation in recognizing water power as a clean energy.

“It’s common sense to most that hydro dams provide the cheapest, cleanest energy in Washington,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “Recognizing hydropower’s role is important to expanding renewable energy. This means we will see more stable power rates as we grow our clean energy portfolio in the state. Without including hydro, our electricity costs would skyrocket as power companies are required to make an arbitrary shift to other energies.”

In a recent poll, 71 percent of Washington voters supported amending I-937 to consider hydropower as a renewable energy.

“I’m glad the House represented the people’s will to add hydropower as a clean energy source,” said Taylor, R-Moxee. “This is a huge win for families and employers with energy bills, because we depend on hydropower to keep energy costs affordable. Almost 76 percent of Washington’s energy comes from hydroelectric power, which not only shows how important it is to our state, but also that Washington already has a record of using clean energies to heat our homes and work places.”

The bill passed 57-40. It now goes to the Senate for agreement on amendments made in the House, including the amendment to consider hydropower a qualified renewable resource.

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For more information, contact: Bill Taylor, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7074


Washington State House Republican Communications