Bill Would Boost Hydropower Nationwide - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bill Would Boost Hydropower Nationwide

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Pacific Northwest congressional delegation is backing legislation that would expand production of hydropower across the country.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who represents Walla Walla and Spokane, testified Tuesday before the U-S Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She says the bill wouldn't lead to more large dams, but would remove licensing barriers so small businesses could invest in hydropower.

"We could double hydropower in this country without building a new dam simply by investing in new technology," McMorris Rodgers told committee members.  "Only three percent of the dams actually produce electricity."

McMorris Rodgers says expanding hydro production would create 700,000 new jobs in the next decade.