Three Things You Need to Know About Unlock Hydro Bills

Behind all of the talking points about clean and green energy, the truth is that the hydropower industry’s so-called “Unlock Hydro” bill is an attack on healthy rivers and your rights.

Scott Oves FlickrCC

They’re at it again. An opinion piece in The New York Times co-authored by Senator Lisa Murkowski tries to put a positive spin on harmful hydropower legislation.

But behind all of the talking points about clean and green energy, the truth is that the hydropower industry’s so-called “Unlock Hydro” bill is an attack on healthy rivers and your right to have a say in how your rivers are managed.

Here is why President Obama vowed to veto the legislation:

  1. The hydro legislation is an extreme power grab: The legislation represents a major power grab by already powerful energy companies including Pacific Gas & Electric, Duke Energy, Exelon and Southern Company. The bill would gut environmental protections and curtail the ability of states, tribes, local communities and recreation and conservation interests to have a say in how dams are operated. By trying to “streamline” the dam relicensing process, energy companies are steamrolling your values.
  2. Giant loopholes for energy companies: This legislation creates major loopholes for dam owners so they can avoid requirements to protect fish, wildlife or clean water. It also undermines the rights of states and Native American tribes to protect these values on their lands.
  3. Rivers pay the price: Poorly operated hydropower dams can dry up rivers, kill fish and wildlife, and cause major damage to communities and businesses that rely on healthy rivers. There’s nothing “clean” or “green” about that. If hydropower is so clean, why are hydro companies lobbying Congress to get them out of complying with the Clean Water Act?

It’s time to stop this legislation in its tracks. Learn more about H.R. 8 and take action for rivers today.

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