Grant PUD chief testifies before House
- May 13, 2022 8:00 pm GMT
May 13—WASHINGTON, D.C. — With demand for electricity in
"Our load is growing, and we are approaching outgrowing physical output in 2026," Wallen said. "We need new generation or new ways to get it."
Speaking before the
"We're good at
The PUD's two dams were last relicensed with the
Wallen was joined at the three-hour hearing by
Everyone agreed that while it only generates around 7% of the nation's total electricity, hydroelectric power is an invaluable renewable resource crucial to the sustainability and reliability of the electric grid.
"A big reason companies like Sila (Nanotechnologies) are locating in
However, dams impose costs and consequences as well on the environment, wildlife and affect treaty obligations with Native American tribes, noted subcommittee chair Rep.
"This is indeed a complicated issue, one deserving of this subcommittee's attention," Rush said at the beginning of the hearing.
Both Woolf and Kiernan have spearheaded a formal Uncommon Dialog, — a formal way of convening subject matter experts to address an issue — which brought together both the hydropower association and American Rivers along with representatives of Native American tribes and conservation groups to craft a series of changes to current dam licensing rules. Those rules are intended to cut through disagreements and have the support of all parties involved.
The proposed changes would make the
"It's more complex to relicense a hydropower dam than a nuclear power plant," Woolf said, noting the average time it takes to reauthorize a dam is 7.6 years.
"It's way too long," Woolf said.
He compared the lengthy federal licensing of a hydropower dam with state licensing of wind projects, which can only take one year in
There are about 90,000 dams in
Pavel said making Native American tribes and their governments direct participants in the process would shorten the licensing process considerably, citing the lengthy fight the Skokomish waged beginning in the 1970s to get their interests considered in the relicensing of Tacoma Public
"The tribe would have been at the table with the licensee early on," she said. "Our tribe is just a little tribe. If
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