Gosar intros legislation to spur renewable energy development on public land

| July 22 2012

Reps. Gosar and Thompson Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Spur Renewable Energy Development on Public Land

Bill Will Increase U.S. Energy Security, Create Jobs, Support Conservation, and Reduce the Deficit

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressmen Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (H.R.6154), legislation that streamlines permitting for renewable energy projects on public lands.

“Western states like Arizona contain millions of acres of public lands that are prime for economic development, but bureaucracy is standing in the way,” said Congressman Gosar.  “As a true supporter of an all-of-the-above energy approach, I am putting forth these common sense reforms to expand renewable energy production.  We can get rural Arizona back on track by facilitating job creation, protecting recreational and tourism areas, and paying down our country’s deficit.”

“By streamlining renewable energy projects on public lands, we can reduce our dependency on foreign oil and put Californians back to work,” said Thompson. “This bill is good for our economy, our national security and our environment. It will spur job growth, grow our energy sector, support conservation and help us pay down our deficit.”

Currently, obtaining permits for renewable projects on public lands can take years. The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act makes it easier for industry to develop by establishing a straightforward process that treats renewable energy similar to traditional sources of energy development like oil and gas.

Additionally, the legislation establishes royalty rates that encourage production, ensures a return for the taxpayer, and maximizes energy generation.  Specifically, the revenues sales from projects are divided by dispersing…

  • 25% to the county(ies) in which a project is located;
  • 25% to the state in which a project is located;
  • 15% for a renewable energy permit processing fund;
  • 25% to a fund to support conservation; and
  • 10% to deficit reduction in the federal budget.

Since public lands are not taxable, state and local governments deserve a share of the revenues from the sales of energy production on lands within their borders. These dollars will help local governments deliver critical services and develop much-needed capital improvement projects such as road maintenance, public safety, and law enforcement.

The Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act has broad bipartisan support throughout the west.  At introduction, the bill has nine original cosponsors form six different western states: Mike Thompson (D-CA), Jeff Denham (R-CA) Mike Coffman (R-CO), Jared Polis (D-CO), Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Michael Simpson (R-ID),  Jim Costa (D-CA), and Scott Tipton (R-CO).

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