Tester bills included in major bipartisan energy package

Senator’s provision increase geothermal development on public lands

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester successfully included his bill to increase geothermal energy development on Montana’s public lands into a major bipartisan energy package.

Tester’s Geothermal Energy Opportunity (GEO) Act would allow oil and gas developers on public lands to also harness geothermal potential without having to go through a lengthy approval process. The bill would also establish a national goal of producing 50,000 megawatts of geothermal power by 2025.

“If we’re serious about increasing America’s energy independence, we must get creative,” Tester said. “Tapping Montana’s geothermal resources and investing in geothermal research and development will broaden our energy portfolio and create jobs. I’m pleased this bill is moving forward.”

The bipartisan energy package announced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) yesterday also includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Senator Tester’s Making Public Lands Public Act.

The bill currently sits in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.