President Donald Trump signed bills Monday extending the amount of time before construction must start on five hydroelectric dams across five states.
The bills cover dams located in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Each piece of legislation gives the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) the authority to extend the deadline for construction to begin up to six years and reinstate each project’s construction license if it expires.
Hydropower is considered clean energy and does not produce any carbon emissions. Environmentalists often oppose such projects because of the dams’ effects on river ecosystems. The Hydropower Reform Coalition, an association of 150 different groups, wants significant reforms on hydropower to limit the impact on rivers.
While Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Deanna Archuleta once promised that “You will never see another federal dam,” today’s news should be received with glee by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and filmmaker Spike Lee, who directed her in this 2011 MSNBC promotional clip: