CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, October 24, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 441 under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. H.R. 441 was introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) on January 25, 2011, and was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the bill, with an amendment, by unanimous consent on June 15, 2011.
H.R. 441 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for a number of micro-hydroelectric projects in the Kantishna Hills area of the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The legislation would also direct the Secretary to exchange Park and Preserve land near or adjacent to land owned by Doyon Tourism, Inc., located at the mouth of Eureka Creek for approximately 18 acres of land owned by Doyon Tourism within the Galena patented mining claim. H.R. 441 would allow the corporation to build a micro-hydroelectric project to power Kantishna Roadhouse, a backcountry lodge the Fairbanks-based Native Corporation owns 100 miles inside the Park. This facility would replace a diesel generator Doyon currently uses to power the roadhouse.
According to the Department of Energy, micro-hydropower systems usually generate up to 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity. Most of the hydropower systems used by homeowners and small business owners, including farmers and ranchers, would qualify as micro-hydropower systems. In fact, a 10-kilowatt micro-hydropower system generally can provide enough power for a large home, a small resort, or a hobby farm. In general, hydropower systems use the energy in flowing water to produce electricity or mechanical energy. Although there are several ways to harness the moving water to produce energy, run-of-the-river systems, which do not require large storage reservoirs, are often used for micro-hydropower systems. For run-of-the-river micro-hydropower systems, a portion of a river's water is diverted to a water conveyance—channel, pipeline, or pressurized pipeline that delivers it to a turbine or waterwheel.
According to CBO, “implementing the bill would have no significant impact on the federal budget.”