Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted in favor of the Electricity Reliability and Forrest Protection Act on Wednesday.
The bill passed the House of Representatives by a 300-118 vote. Every voting Republican in the House voted in favor of the bill.
According to congress.gov, the bill's primary function is to "require the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), with respect to lands under their respective jurisdictions, to ensure that all existing and future rights-of-way for electrical transmission and distribution facilities on such lands include requirements for utility vegetation management, facility inspection, and operation and maintenance activities that:
are developed in consultation with the holder of the right-of-way;
enable the owner or operator of a facility to operate and maintain it in good working order and comply with federal, state, and local electric system reliability and fire safety requirements; and
minimize the need for case-by-case or annual approvals, and instead provide for expedited review and approval, for routine vegetation management, facility inspection, and operation and maintenance activities within existing electrical transmission and distribution rights-of-way, as well as utility vegetation management activities necessary to control hazard trees within or adjacent to electrical transmission and distribution rights-of-way."
The bill is authored by Rep. Doug Maltha (R) of California.
Photo by Breaking Defense