Simpson Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Expand Geothermal Energy Production
Last week, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson introduced H.R. 1719, the Geothermal Production Expansion Act of 2015. H.R. 1719 makes a small but important change to current law to facilitate the development of geothermal energy on public lands.
H.R. 1719 would allow for expansion of renewable geothermal energy, while at the same time protecting the national interests in receiving fair market value for energy leases on federal lands. The intent of the legislation is to protect legitimate geothermal developers from speculators by allowing companies that have discovered geothermal resources through capital-intensive drilling to obtain a one-time noncompetitive lease on up to one square mile of adjoining federal lands.
“Geothermal projects on federal lands offers incredible potential for reliable, clean, low-cost energy production,” said Simpson. “Given these unique and valuable capabilities, I was pleased to offer legislation that encourages expanded geothermal production in a fair and efficient manner. As the United States continues to focus on promoting domestic and diverse energy solutions, I am confident that geothermal can be a strong contributor to the portfolio.”
Congressman Simpson is joined in support of H.R. 1719, by cosponsor Peter DeFazio (D-OR). In the Senate, Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the legislation with Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch as cosponsors.