Tester’s Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act gets Senate hearing

Senator: Striking this balance is key to our outdoor way of life

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act today got a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Tester’s bill streamlines the permitting process for wind, solar and geothermal development on public lands and also ensures that funds generated by energy development benefit various conservation efforts. The legislation also establishes a revenue sharing system that aids local communities that are home to these energy projects and helps mitigate the impact that construction could have on land, water, and wildlife.

“Montana’s public lands are home to rich energy resources, vibrant wildlife, and incredible outdoor recreation. This bill will encourage responsible natural resource development while also promoting conservation and supporting local communities,” Tester said. “Striking this balance is key to creating jobs and preserving our outdoor heritage and way life.”

Today’s hearing is part of an ongoing series of hearings to consider bills that could potentially be part of a comprehensive energy bill.

The Senator recently sponsored the Geothermal Energy Opportunity Act to allow oil and gas developers on public lands to more easily harness geothermal energy. Montana is already home to over 300 thermal wells and springs.

Tester’s Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act, which is cosponsored by Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), is available online HERE. Video of today’s hearing is available HERE.