In the late nineteenth century, the Progressive Conservationists criticized water-power development as being inefficient and based more on local politics than science.(24) The Progressive Conservationists sought to give equal consideration to river uses other than navigation, such as irrigation and energy production, in an effort to maximize the efficient use of river systems.(25) Largely through their efforts, a policy of comprehensive basin-wide planning for multiple uses eventually replaced the earlier navigation-oriented approach to river development.(26) This change in federal water policy laid the foundation for legislation, such as the Federal Water Power Act (FWPA), designed to encourage comprehensive development of the nation's water resources.
Enactment of the FWPA, now renamed the Federal Power Act (FPA), was inspired in large part by America's participation in World War I.
The 1920 FWPA gave the Federal Power Commission (FPC) two sources of licensing authority, section 4(d) and section 23.
The 1935 amendments, which renamed the FWPA as the FPA, extended the Commission's authority to require projects to obtain a license.
Union Electric Company, the Court considered whether, in enacting the Federal Water Power Act (FWPA), Congress intended to invoke its full Commerce Clause authority over hydroelectric projects located on waters subject to federal jurisdiction.
The Commission explained that the 1935 amendments to section 23 did not affect the basic jurisdictional standards of nonnavigable rivers, contending that the concepts of "jurisdiction under [Congress's] authority to regulate commerce" and "the interests of interstate or foreign commerce [being] affected by such proposed construction" were included in the original 1920 enactment.(61) Farmington Power disagreed with the Commission's interpretation of the FPA, arguing that since there had been no project construction after 1935, section 23 of the 1920 FWPA gave it discretion to file a license application.
In 1967, PP&L voluntarily filed an application for a minor license for the Bend Project after receiving a letter from the Commission encouraging it to do so.(71) After reviewing PP&L's application, the Commission concluded that the project affected interstate commerce due to its connection with BPA's interstate power grid.(72) Section 23 of the Federal Water Power Act (FWPA) requires the project to be licensed once the Commission has made this determination.(73) As a result, the Federal Power Commission (FPC) issued a minor license for the project on March 20, 1970, with an expiration date of December 31, 1993.(74)
The Federal Power Act (FPA) was designed to regulate all water power projects in which the federal government had a legitimate interest Since 1920, section 23 of the original Federal Water Power Act (FWPA) and of the later FPA has contemplated regulation of projects on nonnavigable rivers which affected the interests of interstate commerce.
(6) The FWPA was amended by Tide 11 of the Public Utility Act of 1935, ch.