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By Congressman Robert Hurt
The information I hear from constituents continues to be my best resource as I serve you in Washington. And as I speak with Fifth District Virginians, it remains clear to me that their biggest concern is stifled job creation caused by federal government over-reach creating unnecessary burdens for individuals and small businesses.
The most recent example of this was brought to me by a group of engaged citizens in the Smith Mountain Lake, Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania County areas, who shared its concerns with federally regulated hydro-power projects causing unnecessary costs to residents and diminished property values in surrounding areas of the projects.
The Supporting Home Owners Rights Enforcement, or SHORE Act, is in direct response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) current disregard of private landownership rights as it issues and enforces licenses for hydro-power projects in the Fifth District.
The SHORE Act will help address this problem by requiring that FERC take into consideration the private property ownership rights when exercising its authority as it relates to Smith Mountain Lake and other federally regulated hydro-power projects across the country. It will also require licensees to consider the benefit of private landownership to investment and increased tourism when developing recreation resources within a project boundary.
Ultimately, the SHORE Act will help protect the private property ownership rights of Fifth District individuals, families, and small businesses so further unnecessary federal regulations will not impede upon their ability to enjoy their private property, expand their businesses, and create jobs at a time when far too many in the Fifth District are out of work.
Our stalled economic recovery is perpetuated due to federal regulations providing disincentive for small businesses to hire and expand, and it is clear that we need to change our current course. While the SHORE Act represents a small step toward the goal of removing the government as a barrier to economic recovery and job creation, it represents a step in the right direction as we in the House work to promote commonsense policies that will remove economic uncertainty and assure landowners that decisions and investments made relating to their private property will not result in costly burdens or consequences.
If you need any additional information on these or any other issues, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.