The House is scheduled to vote the week of November 30th on the hydropower legislation
we’ve been tracking since late spring. It still spells really, really bad news for rivers
and paddler’s voices are very important right now!
H.R. 8 (the "North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act”) is a
comprehensive energy bill with hydropower provisions that, if passed, will make restoring rivers
impacted by hydropower dams significantly more challenging (these provisions are in Title I
Subtitle C of the current House version of the bill). If you’ve enjoyed restored flows on
rivers like the Cheoah (NC), Tallulah (GA), Deerfield (MA),Yuba/Bear (CA), Chelan (WA), Bear
River (ID), this will affect you directly.
The hydropower provisions in H.R. 8 would give hydropower developers special treatment by
allowing them to ignore the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and other laws that protect
fish, wildlife, recreation and public lands. It would strip states and Native American tribes of
their existing authority to hold dam owners accountable for pollution and damage to local rivers
and communities, as well as federal agencies to protect fish and other aquatic species.
The hydropower industry is behind these provisions, claiming that their efforts are about
improving regulatory efficiency and promoting “clean, green” energy. Do not be
fooled. These large and powerful energy companies are seeking special treatment in order to
squeeze our rivers dry for their own interests.
Earlier this summer, we called on you to speak up for rivers when a similar bill was in the
Senate. Paddlers and other river enthusiasts responded loudly with emails and calls to political
leaders, and thanks to your efforts, we made a difference! We need to make a strong showing
again as the bill moves through the House.
Make your voices heard
We've made it easy for you to reach out to
your Congressional Representatives through our
friends at Outdoor Alliance. Share your personal experience enjoying rivers where hydropower
projects provide recreational flows. Ask your Representative to oppose the hydropower provisions
in H.R. 8–the "North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act”–or
any bill that would undermine the public's ability to balance hydropower interests with
non-power values like recreation, fish and wildlife.
American Whitewater will continue to advocate for rivers and an appropriate balance between
hydropower generation and other river values, including whitewater recreation. Thanks for
. We’ll need your ongoing help throughout the process. Keep an eye on our
website and social media channels to stay informed about when to take action.