Bipartisan Witnesses Testify in Strong Support of Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S (AZ-04) released the following statement after participating in a Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources legislative hearing on his bill, H.R. 2663, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act:

“The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act presents a valuable, bipartisan opportunity to spur renewable energy development on public lands in a way that maximizes benefits to states, counties and the people who use public lands. This proactive solution brings wind and solar energy more in line with the way other forms of energy development are permitted, creating greater long-term certainty.

“All across the West there are public lands rich with potential for wind, solar and geothermal energy just waiting to transform how we power our communities. However, it is absolutely imperative that when we develop these homegrown sources that we account for the needs of our state and local governments and our outdoor sporting heritage. I was proud to see the Natural Resources Committee take action today to move this commonsense proposal forward. I urge House leadership to act on this bipartisan bill and I hope it will be signed into law in a timely manner.”

At the hearing, Mohave County Supervisor for District 3, Buster Johnson, testified in support of H.R. 2663 stating, “[The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act] will help create good-paying jobs, diversify rural economy’s and spur economic growth…In public lands counties, the single greatest barrier to project development is the protracted federal permitting process…This legislation creates a straightforward and streamlined permitting process for renewal energy development on federal lands…Simply put, there is no reason for the BLM to take several years to permit a project when our county offices can issue permits in weeks.”

Background:

At the hearing, there was unanimous support for H.R. 2663 from all witnesses and members on both sides of the aisle. More info about the hearing including witness testimony and video can be found HERE.

H.R. 2663 aims to streamline the permitting process for wind, solar and geothermal development on public lands and establish a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures a fair return for all. Public land management agencies need a permitting process tailored to the unique characteristics and impacts of renewable energy projects. This bipartisan bill removes government red tape and develops a more efficient process that will drive investment towards the highest quality renewable sources.

Mohave County Supervisor for District 3, Buster Johnson testified at the hearing on behalf of Mohave County, the National Association of Counties, QuadState Local Government Authority and the Arizona/Utah Economic Coalition. Supervisor Johnson has chaired numerous State and National committees focusing on renewable energy development. This includes the Western Arizona Council of Governments Economic Development District (WACOG) where he served as the inaugural president of the organization.

The Senate held a hearing on the companion version of the bill on June 9, 2015. Click HERE to read more.

The full text of H.R. 2663 can be found HERE.

H.R. 2663 currently has 68 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Sponsors and Cosponsors include: Paul Gosar, Jared Polis, Joe Heck*, Mike Thompson, Trent Franks, Raul Ruiz, Mark Amodei, Dan Benishek, Don Beyer, Rod Blum, Tony Cardenas, Matt Cartwright, Mike Coffman, Barbara Comstock, Gerald Connolly, Paul Cook, Jim Cooper, Jim Costa, Ryan Costello, Kevin Cramer, Carlos Curbelo, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, John Delaney, Susan DelBene, Jeff Denham, Jeff Duncan, Chaka Fattah, Ruben Gallego, Chris Gibson, Raul Grijalva, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Cresent Hardy, Alcee Hastings, Mike Honda, Jared Huffman, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raul Labrador, Doug LaMalfa, Barbara Lee, David Loebsack, Mia Love, Alan S. Lowenthal, Ben Lujan, James P. McGovern, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Martha McSally, Grace Napolitano, Dan Newhouse, Steve Pearce, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Peters, Collin Peterson, Marc Pocan, Todd Rokita, Matt Salmon, Kurt Schrader, David Schweikert, Mike Simpson, Kyrsten Sinema, Chris Stewart, Steve Stivers, Scott Tipton, Niki Tsongas, Dina Titus, David Valadao, Don Young and Ryan Zinke.

Multiple organizations have endorsed the bill including: Western Governors’ Association, National Association of Counties, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, American Fly Fishing Trade Association, American Sportfishing Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Dallas Safari Club, Mule Deer Foundation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Trout Unlimited and countless other organizations.

Last Congress, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals held a hearing on a previous version of the bill, H.R. 596, on July 29, 2014. Click HERE to read more.

Contact: Steven D. Smith

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