The Senate voted on their first amendments to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 on Thursday. Sen. Steve Daines said the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 is a "crucial step forward in modernizing our nation’s energy policy and public lands management for the first time in nearly a decade."

"We’re taking the necessary steps to secure our nation’s energy future – in turn, increasing economic opportunity and protecting our nation’s security needs.," Daines said. "It permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important tool for increasing public access to public lands and one of the country’s best conservation programs. This bill also streamlines the permitting for the export of liquefied natural gas, allowing more American energy to power the world."

Daines adds that Montana is the fifth-largest producer of hydropower in the nation and we have 23 hydroelectric dams.

"This bill strengthens our nation’s hydropower development by streamlining permitting of new projects, finally defining hydropower as renewable resource by statute, and allowing FERC to provide more time to construct new hydroelectric facilities on existing dams," Daines said.

"In Montana, we know that the important balance of responsibly developing our natural resources and serving as good stewards of our environment," Daines said. "Our energy sector supports thousands of good-paying jobs for union workers and tribal members. And access to our state’s one-of-a-kind public lands is critical to our state’s tourism economy and our way of life."

The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 was approved by a vote of 18-4.

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