Electric Reliability and Forest Protection Act Passes Committee
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after H.R. 1873, the Electric Reliability and Forest Protection Act, passed through the Natural Resources Committee. Congressman LaMalfa’s bill, introduced along with Rep. Schrader from Oregon, allows utility companies to more efficiently remove hazardous trees and other vegetation near a transmission lines to reduce the risk of wildfires.
LaMalfa said: “I am very pleased that this bill passed through committee with strong bipartisan support. Rep. Schrader and I have worked together to ensure this legislation moves forward and addresses a real world problem affecting forest health and safety. Our bill removes existing red tape that will allow for more streamlined removal of trees that have potential of falling on a power line and causing blackouts or forest fires. We’ve had strong support from both sides of the aisle along with many local utility companies and power providers located in Northern California and beyond. I’m pleased to see this bill progress through committee quickly and I look forward to a vote on the House floor soon.”
Under current law it can take months for utilities to receive Forest Service approval to remove hazardous trees from transmission lines right of ways, even if trees are already in contact with electric transmission lines. H.R. 1873 provides utilities with the ability to rapidly remove hazardous trees by receiving pre-approval from the Forest Service to manage transmission line right of ways and remove trees that are or could become hazards. Furthermore, if a utility requests authorization to remove a tree and is denied by the Forest Service, the Forest Service is responsible for any firefighting costs that result from the failure to remove the tree.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa speaks on the introduction of the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act of 2017. [YouTube]
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.