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Senate bill aims to keep energy prices lower amid drought

Glen Canyon Dam
Glen Canyon Dam

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would stabilize electricity costs when hydropower facilities are forced to cut electricity because of drought.

The Hydropower Delivery Rate-Reduction Offset Act would reduce fees paid by utilities if dams operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation don’t generate a minimum amount of power.

Water shortages have reduced hydroelectric generation in the West amid the worst drought in 1,200 years.

In the Colorado River Basin, hydroelectricity has dropped by about a third and at Glen Canyon Dam production has fallen by 20% during the last 23 years.

Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who are both sponsors of the bill, say it would help reduce electricity costs worsened by drought.