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At Hydropower Forum, Senator Barrasso Decries “Glacial Pace of Permitting” For New Facilities

On Jan. 11, the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources held a hearing on hydropower, prompting senators to comment on some factors that may be threatening the continued existence and expansion of that renewable energy source. “If these Democrats want to reduce energy prices, they need to work with Republicans to make it easier—not more difficult—to produce American energy,” said Ranking Member Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in his written opening statement. “Hydropower produces more than seven percent of our nation’s electricity—it’s critical,” Barrasso said. In some countries, hydropower is a substantially larger source of electricity. For example, hydropower provides up to 95 percent of power produced in Norway. “A country well known for its high mountain plateaus, abundant natural lakes and steep valleys and fjords, Norway’s topography lends itself perfectly to hydropower development,” notes the International Hydropower Association in its article on Norway. “Unlike other sources of renewable energy, …

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