09/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 15:56
Washington, D.C. - Today, with the support of Alaska Congressman Don Young, the House of Representatives passed the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which included Congressman Young's H.R. 6084, the Water Power Research and Development Act. Congressman Young's bill strengthens water power programs at the Department of Energy (DOE), and reauthorizes funding for research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of marine energy. Additionally, this legislation authorizes funding for existing and new National Marine Energy Centers, including the Pacific Marine Energy Center, which is operated in part by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
'The state of Alaska has tremendous hydroelectric potential, and water power programs within the Department of Energy provide our rural and remote communities with new opportunities to obtain reliable and affordable hydropower. Alaska is rich in oil, but if our state's economy is to survive well into the future, we must diversify our energy portfolio. Harnessing our state's hydropower is not only good for our economy; it directly helps the people of our great state,' said Congressman Don Young. 'The cost of electricity in Alaska can be twice that of the lower 48. This increased cost of power in the residential sector has significant economic impacts for Alaska families, particularly in remote, rural communities and Alaska Native villages. I have long supported utilizing Alaska's vast hydropower capabilities, and was proud to support projects such as the Terror Lake Hydroelectric Plant and the Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project; we must continue this momentum. Supporting these programs is critical for our ability to deploy hydropower, pumped storage and marine energy projects, and related transmission infrastructure into low-income, economically distressed, underserved, and rural communities. I am proud to have led this effort along with my good friend, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and am grateful for my colleagues for supporting it. I will continue working in Congress to support an all-of-the-above energy approach that secures a bright future for Alaska and our country.'