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Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 9, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3361, the RIVER Act, and thank Chairman Tonko and Congressman Loebsack for working with us in a bipartisan way on this important legislation.

This RIVER Act reauthorizes key hydropower production and efficiency incentives through 2036. Boosting hydropower production will ensure that Americans have access to affordable, clean energy.

As Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has previously noted on numerous occasions, only 3 percent of America's 91,000 dams generate electricity because in part it takes 10 years to get a permit to develop new hydropower projects.

This bill will help streamline and develop utilizing existing infrastructure and overcome barriers to future projects.

I urge my colleagues to support the RIVER Act.

Mr. Speaker, I ask a point of personal privilege to address my esteemed chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I say to my ranking member and my former chairman, colleague, since I came here 10 years ago, coming from the business sector nearly 50 years in private practice in the business of engineering, I have been so impressed with the leadership we have had in Energy and Commerce. It wasn't what I was expecting. You and Fred, and even to some extent my friend, Frank, to some extent--Frank, don't get carried away here.

I have seen you taking on some difficult issues and using humor, your approach, you have been able to work through some difficult situations coming up with solutions. So you are going to be missed. You and Mylene have earned the break. But I think of all the legislation.

You have been in my house. You have come to West Virginia--``West by God Virginia''--and I do appreciate what you have done for us, what you have done on the opioid epidemic. It is still ravaging West Virginia and across this country.

People have to understand that in West Virginia more people are going to die from opioids than from COVID this year. This is still a problem, but thanks to you, we are moving in the right direction.

I can't express enough how much you have meant to me in my career and my confidence. The people's House has been in good hands under you, and I very much appreciate your service. God bless all of you as you continue in your retirement.