Tester introduces bipartisan bills to create jobs, boost businesses by maximizing renewable energy

Senator aims to expand renewable energy infrastructure in rural communities

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester is leading an effort to expand renewable energy infrastructure in rural communities in Montana and across rural America by lowering transmission and financing costs to co-ops and municipalities.

Tester is an original cosponsor of two bipartisan bills, introduced in the Senate today, to expand rural communities’ ability to create jobs by financing renewable energy transmission lines and delivering Montana energy to larger markets.

One bill expands the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ability to provide low interest loans to rural co-ops and communities for renewable energy transmission lines that connect rural areas to urban areas.

The second bill would change the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and Exempt Facility Bonds initiatives to allow rural cooperatives, state and local governments to issue bonds to finance transmission for renewable energy generation.

“From solar power to wind to geothermal energy, Montana has incredible potential when it comes to renewable energy,” Tester said.  “But our entire state is a rural State.  As Montana invests in our energy future, we need to make sure the necessary infrastructure is in place to get the energy we produce where it needs to go.  This legislation will provide folks in rural communities with the tools to create jobs and build that energy infrastructure.”

Under the bills, rural electric and natural gas cooperatives, local governments, and Indian tribes could apply for financial support to expand their renewable energy infrastructure.

Both bills are available on Tester’s website HERE and HERE.