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Sali wins support for hydropower

Idaho Press Tribune 8/4/07

Although Idaho lawmaker opposes energy bill, he’s successful in winning amendment’s passage Idaho Press-Tribune newsroom@idahopress.com BOISE — U.S. Rep. Bill Sali easily won approval of an amendment in support of hydropower as the nation looks for new sources of energy during House action Saturday. The House voted 402-9 in favor of Sali’s proposal. Sali’s amendment to a House Democrat energy bill calls for the development of clean, consistent, pollution-free large and small scale hydropower. Without Sali’s amendment, his office said, the legislation made no reference to hydropower. “If we are going to discuss renewable energy, then we need to include hydropower,” Sali told fellow representatives. “Hydropower for America means no greenhouse gas emissions. Hydropower offsets more carbon emissions than all other renewable energy resources combined.” In a statement issued Saturday, Sali said Americans avoided around 160 million tons of carbon emissions by using hydropower. More than 60 percent of power in the Pacific Northwest comes from hydroelectric generation, and dams on the Snake River are the leading source of electricity for Idaho Power Co. Sali’s amendment is part of a broad-based energy bill that cleared the House on Saturday, even though he and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson both voted against the full bill. Sali said he voted against the full bill because, apart from his amendment, it does nothing to encourage development of new energy sources. “Our country is becoming more and more dependent on foreign oil,” he said. “It is a national security nightmare in the making. It is an economic disaster in the making, and the so-called energy bill passed by the House does nothing to resolve the looming energy crisis.” The hydropower amendment is the second proposal Sali has offered in support of hydropower in the Pacific Northwest. Last month, Sali introduced a resolution in support of the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
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