Sen. Murkowski: Bipartisan Hydropower, Energy Efficiency Legislation Could be First Energy Public Laws this Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commended her Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee colleagues for working together to advance energy legislation. The committee voted to move five bills out of committee on hydropower and energy efficiency.

“It’s encouraging to see senators from both sides of the aisle coming together to work on bipartisan energy legislation. Sen. Wyden and I have made it a priority to focus on areas of broad consensus, where we can really make something happen, and we’ve accomplished that today,” Murkowski said. “I expect these hydropower bills, followed by the energy efficiency legislation, will be our first energy-related public laws this Congress.”

The committee debated four hydropower bills – two Senate measures and their House companions – and one energy efficiency bill.

Murkowski’s Hydropower Improvement Act (S. 545) focuses on administrative actions that can be taken to advance the conventional hydropower resource. Its companion measure, H.R. 267, unanimously passed the House earlier this year by a vote of 422-0.

The Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (S. 306), sponsored by Sens. Barrasso and Risch, is designed to facilitate small conduit hydropower development at Bureau of Reclamation facilities. The House companion measure, H.R. 678, passed the House earlier this year by a vote of 416-7.

The energy efficiency legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 761), is sponsored by Sens. Portman and Shaheen and aims to increase the efficiency of buildings, as well as for the industrial sector and federal agencies. The measure is supported by some 200 organizations, including a wide range of efficiency advocates and manufacturers.

The bills now move to the Senate floor.