PORTLAND (AP) — U.S. Sen. Angus King is pressing to streamline the federal permitting process for dams, saying the current system is holding back states like Maine.

The independent says the current system that takes up to 10 years and up to $100 million to get an answer is an “annuity for lawyers and consultants.”

He’s proposed legislation to make it easier for small dams to get licenses and for existing dams to be relicensed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Last week, Maine Gov. LePage lamented the same problem.

He told a congressional subcommittee that he’d like to make it easier for existing dams to become electricity generators, producing as much as 70 megawatts of affordable power for Maine.

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