REP. TIPTON COSPONSORS BILL TO INCREASE RENEWABLE ENERGY ON PUBLIC LANDS
This week, U.S. Congressmen Scott Tipton (CO-03), Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), Mike Levin (CA-49), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Rob Bishop (UT-01) and 18 other members of Congress introduced H.R. 3794, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2019, legislation which will increase production of wind, solar, and geothermal energy on public lands while also establishing a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures a fair return for states, counties, sportsmen, conservation and taxpayers.
Renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal are an integral part of the United States’ all-of-the-above energy strategy. Our nation’s public lands can play a critical role in supporting that mission. While approximately 40% of total geothermal electric generating capacity comes from federal lands, only about 5% of total utility-scale wind energy capacity and utility-scale solar energy capacity comes from public lands.
This bipartisan bill develops a streamlined process that will drive investment towards the highest quality renewable sources. This legislation uses upfront planning and careful siting to identify appropriate areas for wind, solar and geothermal energy. In addition, PLREDA incentivizes development in these lower-conflict priority areas, while ensuring impacts to wildlife, habitat and cultural resources are avoided and minimized. The bill also directs agencies to provide staffing resources to ensure project permitting moves forward as efficiently as possible.
H.R. 3794 establishes a revenue sharing mechanism ensuring a fair return for relevant stakeholders. The revenue sharing mechanism will distribute certain revenues derived through this Act by returning 25% to the state where development occurs, 25% to the counties of origin, 25% is deposited into a fund for sportsmen and conservation purposes, including increasing access to outdoor recreation, 15% is directed for the purposes of more efficiently processing permit applications and reducing the backlog of renewable energy permits, and 10% is directed for deficit reduction.
Current sponsors and cosponsors of this legislation include (28): Reps. Scott Tipton (CO-03)*, Gosar (AZ-04)*, Mike Levin (CA-49)*, Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)*, Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)*, Jared Huffman (CA-02)*, Mark Amodei (NC-02), Don Beyer (VA-08), Rob Bishop (UT-01), Ed Case (HI-01), Paul Cook (CA-08), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Ben Lujan (NM-03), Roger Marshall (KS-01), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Chris Stewart (UT-02), Mike Thompson (CA-05), and Don Young (AK-At Large).
Endorsements so far for this legislation include: the American Sportfishing Association, American Wind Energy Association, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, EDF Renewables, First Solar, National Association of Counties, NextEra, Solar Energy Industries Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited and Wilderness Society.
H.R. 3794 is set for a Committee hearing on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building.