Wyden seeks to make waves with energy bill

Sen. Ron Wyden wants to encourage more investment in Oregon's wave energy development efforts.

Sen. Ron Wyden wants to encourage more investment in Oregon's wave energy development efforts.

Oregon’s senior senator is pushing a new proposed set of federal rules that would encourage more wave energy technology investments.

Sen. Ron Wyden reached across the aisle to Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski as he prepares to introduce the Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act of 2013. S.1419 would encourage private investment in marine hydrokinetic power technologies by streamlining regulatory processes for pilot projects that generate energy from oceans, lakes and rivers.

Because the measure hasn’t been filed, it’s not clear how much money the bill would seek.

Wyden’s backed by such groups as the Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, which is co-located at Oregon State University.

“Wave, tidal and other marine energy sources have enormous potential and Oregon is poised to be an international leader in the commercialization of the marine renewable energy industry,” Wyden said in a release. “No one knows what technology is going to trigger the next energy revolution, so it’s common sense for our country to make it easier for private companies to test their newest technologies, and continue researching this promising energy frontier.”

The Wyden-Murkowski bill would reauthorize the Energy Department’s marine hydrokinetic research, development and demonstration programs. Those include the National Marine Renewable Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Centers.

The measure would also designate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the lead agency to coordinate environmental reviews as well as attempt to license pilot programs in one year or less.

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