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Daines hydropower bill clears committee

By The Associated Press
Published On: Aug 01 2013 07:22:07 AM MDT
HELENA, Mont. -

A House committee is advancing a bill from U.S. Rep. Steve Daines that would allow hydropower projects in more local irrigation districts.
    
Daines said Wednesday that the measure cleared the House Natural Resources Committee.
    
It is one of the measures advancing in Congress to lift restrictions on hydropower development in Bureau of Reclamation irrigation systems built by the government after 1939.
    
Proponents say the small power projects could generate money for irrigation districts to help maintain the systems.
    
Daines said the measure promotes clean, renewable energy at no cost to taxpayers.
    
The first-term Republican said the measure has also received support from agricultural groups and the Obama administration.