Tester strengthens grassroots support for Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act
Senator’s bill streamlines permitting process for renewable energy development
(MISSOULA, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today held a listening session on his bipartisan Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act that levels the playing field and creates jobs in Montana’s renewable energy sector.
Tester’s bill – also sponsored by Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) – streamlines the permitting process for renewable energy projects on public lands. It cuts red tape so solar and wind projects go through a similar permitting process as traditional energy resources. The bill also returns portions of royalty payments to local communities and supports investments in wildlife habitat.
The Senator recently tried to include his bipartisan bill as an amendment to a bipartisan energy package that fell victim to political games. Today’s panel discussion – moderated by Tom France with the National Wildlife Federation – was organized to look for other avenues to get the bill passed into law.
“Renewable energy development creates good-paying jobs and has the support of folks across the political spectrum,” Tester said. “Strengthening grassroots support for the bill will help us educate folks back in Washington and get our bill passed into law.”
Panelists who presented at the listening session included:
• Nick Gevock, Montana Wildlife Federation
• Corey Fisher, Montana Trout Unlimited
• Kathy Hadley, National Center for Appropriate Technology
• Van Jamison, Gaelectric
• Harold Blattie, Montana Association of Counties
Tester – joined by Senators Heller, Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) – recently submitted a request to have his bill heard by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
A copy of Tester’s bill, which is co-sponsored by fellow Montana Senator John Walsh, is available below.