How National Hydro Day Can Bring Greater Exposure to Your Work

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How National Hydro Day Can Bring Greater Exposure to Your Work

DATE:

June 3, 2024

BY:

Copeland Tucker, Director of Public Affairs, National Hydropower Association

Brittney May, Legislative Affairs Manager, National Hydropower Association

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How National Hydro Day Can Bring Greater Exposure to Your Work

NHA thanks our sponsors:

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We’re heading into the summer season, which means National Hydropower Day is right around the corner. This commemoration, held every August 24 and spearheaded by National Hydropower Association (NHA), is an annual opportunity to celebrate our industry, raise awareness about the importance of water power in communities across America, and recommit ourselves and our supporters to shared goals.

This year’s commemoration, which spans the week of August 19, seeks to raise awareness about how hydro powers so many important things – our communities, our economy, our fight against climate change, and much more.

Perhaps one of the best ways to engage stakeholders around this message is by inviting local elected officials on a tour of your facilities, particularly your Members of Congress. That’s why NHA urges the water power industry to invite these key stakeholders to your facilities this August to help celebrate National Hydropower Day!

United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA) during a visit to Electron Hydroelectric Project in Washington.

UTILIZE THE AUGUST RECESS

The August recess, or district work period, is the time when federal lawmakers head back to their districts or states for the month to conduct work back home. During this time, legislators attend events, meet with constituents, and conduct site-visits and tours of local businesses.

August recess is the perfect opportunity to invite U.S. Representatives and Senators to visit your facilities, as they are looking for opportunities to connect with the community.

Hosting a Member of Congress at your facilities provides a critical educational opportunity to elevate the importance of water power to your community, highlighting the ways in which water powers homes and businesses.

HOW TO INVITE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

This year, NHA is making it easier than ever to extend the invitation; just follow the four simple steps below:

  • Identify your Legislators: To find your representative in the U.S. House, please input your zip code on this website. To find your U.S. Senators, please consult this website. We recommend you do this as soon as possible, as the Members’ calendars fill up quickly.
  • Identify the Office Scheduler: Use this spreadsheet to find the office Scheduler. They will be responsible for processing the request and will serve as your Point of Contact moving forward. If you have a pre-existing relationship with the office, feel free to also include your personal contacts.
  • Email your Invitation: Use this customizable e-mail template, and send the request directly to the Scheduler.
  • Follow Up: Members of Congress and their staff receive many requests. If you have not heard back within a month of the requested tour date, please follow up directly with the scheduler by e-mail or phone. It’s also appropriate to follow up once more within two weeks of the requested tour date.

An NHA ‘Tiger Team’ meets with legislative staff during NHA’s Advocacy Day 2024.

WHAT TO DO DURING AND AFTER THE TOUR:

  • Provide Useful Statistics: Emphasize how important hydropower is to the community by including useful stats (e.g., your facility’s generating capacity, how many local homes and businesses rely on the power your facilities generate, etc.)
  • Highlight Current Hydro Legislation: Express your support for the hydropower licensing reform packages ( 1521 and/or H.R. 4045), the hydropower investment tax credit proposal (S. 2994/H.R. 6653), and water power appropriations (funding the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office and the Grid Deployment Office’s Hydropower Incentives Programs).

You can find copies of NHA’s one-pagers on each of these initiatives here. NHA’s legislative affairs team, headed by Matthew Allen and Brittney May, are also happy to meet ahead of time and brief you.

  • Thank the Office: After the visit concludes, be sure to thank the office and reiterate the importance of water power as a renewable, reliable energy source. In the thank-you email, be sure to include copies of each of the relevant legislative one-pagers and ask them to sign on as a supporter of the bills listed above.
  • Share to Social: Be sure to also post photos and takeaways of the visit to your organization’s social media channels, making sure to mention the connection to National Hydropower Day.

**Please note that if the Member of Congress is unavailable, they may send the head of their district office or another community liaison, which is just as impactful. Hosting a representative from the office is an effective way to engage with the office and make your voice and priorities heard.

A ‘Tiger Team’ meets with legislative staff on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. during NHA’s Advocacy Day 2024.

SUCCESS STORIES

Last year, the water power industry, nation-wide, hosted tours for a bipartisan group of legislators, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

In Washington State, first term congresswoman, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D), of Washington’s Third Congressional District, visited Tacoma Public Utilities’ Mossyrock Dam and Powerhouse.

She found great value in the tour, telling NHA, “Families across Southwest Washington rely on hydropower as a clean, reliable, and cost-effective source of energy – and our state is the nation’s leading producer of hydropower. I’ve really enjoyed visiting local facilities to see how they’re supporting critical energy needs, good jobs and recreation opportunities across Washington’s Third District.”

Commissioner Brummer, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez, Tacoma Power Generation manager Chris Mattson, and Tacoma Power Natural Resources manager Matt Bleich.

In Tennessee, Congressman Tim Burchett (R), representing the Volunteer State’s Second Congressional District, made his way to Tennessee Valley Authority’s Norris Dam to highlight all the benefits of this critical piece of infrastructure.

Following his visit, he reaffirmed its importance, telling NHA, “Norris Dam creates clean, inexpensive hydropower that also helps stabilize our grid. It employs East Tennesseans and keeps our water clean for the folks who come to Norris Lake to enjoy the outdoors.”

Representative Burchett during a visit to TVA’s Norris Dam.

Water powers so many important things – our communities, America’s energy independence, our fight against climate change and more. Yet many of our leaders don’t give it the attention and support it deserves. Let’s work together to change that by sharing the story of hydropower, pumped storage, and hydrokinetic technologies with our elected officials. When it comes to the promise and potential of water power – seeing is believing.