The legislation, from Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), clarifies that small-scale hydropower development is "explicitly authorized" at conduits managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. It would let the Bureau lease conduits to private entities, which would pay a rental fee to the government to produce hydropower.

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The bill also seeks to end what supporters say are duplicative environmental regulations that slow the development of hydropower.

"Hydropower is a key piece of the all-of-the-above energy plan that I strongly support," Tipton said when he introduced his bill in February. "Increasing responsible production of clean, renewable hydropower presents valuable opportunities to send affordable power directly to the grid and create new jobs in rural America."

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