A group of U.S. Senators have re-introduced the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act, S. 282. This bipartisan legislation works toward an “all of the above” energy strategy by simplifying the permitting process for wind, solar, and geothermal projects on public lands.
“If we truly want to implement an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach, we have to let renewable energy companies compete on a level playing field,” said Senator Dean Heller. “The common-sense approach we have laid out will result in more jobs, true progress toward American energy independence, and preservation of our natural wonders.”
The Senators involved include Dean Heller (R-NV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jon Tester (D-MT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Tom Udall (D-NM).
According to Senator Michael Bennet, leasing public lands for responsible energy development is also important to a comprehensive, long-term approach to meet our nation’s energy needs. “This bill will put renewables on a level playing field with other forms of energy, while supporting local economies and future conservation efforts,” he said, and pointed out that the renewable sector is one of Colorado’s fastest-growing industries for jobs.
Senator Jim Risch agreed and said a broad domestic energy supply is critical for America to grow its economy. “This plan helps accomplish that by putting renewable energies under a similar framework as conventional energy sources. It also requires royalty payments that will benefit Idahoans in the counties and states where the projects occur.”
“Protecting public lands in New Mexico and the nation and investing in a clean energy economy are critical to create jobs and support growth in the economy overall. The Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act is an important step toward accomplishing these goals,” said Senator Tom Udall said. “I am proud to cosponsor a bill that allows us to invest in our local communities and conserve our land and wildlife, while boosting wind and solar energy development.”
Read all statements and the full release here.
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