U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passes four bills to streamline regulations, government permitting for renewable energy development, encourage wind, geothermal energy projects on federal lands, waters

WASHINGTON , July 14, 2011 (press release) – Bipartisan Support Advances Republicans’ All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy

As part of House Republicans’ American Energy Initiative, the House Natural Resources Committee passed with bipartisan support four bills, H.R. 2170, H.R. 2171, H.R. 2172 and H.R. 2173, to create jobs and increase renewable energy production on federal lands and water. The bills streamline burdensome regulations and cumbersome government permitting processes that have greatly slowed renewable energy development on public lands.

“Republicans are committed to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that creates American jobs and reduces our reliance on unstable foreign energy. The current burdensome regulatory system discourages interest in renewable energy production on public lands and devalues the original multiuse purpose of these lands,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “The four bills passed by the Committee are a strong step towards fostering an atmosphere of increased renewable energy production on federal lands and waters by removing bureaucratic government obstacles and red-tape. America has been blessed with an abundance of energy resources, of all kinds, and we should be actively looking to use those resources to create jobs and improve America’s energy security.”

The Cutting Red Tape to Facilitate Renewable Energy Act (H.R. 2170, Rep. Hastings) passed by a bipartisan vote of 24-16. The bill accelerates the development of clean, renewable energy projects on Federal lands and water to create jobs and protect the environment. The bill requires an environmental review to be conducted for the specific location where the renewable energy project would be located.

The Exploring Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act (H.R. 2171, Rep. Labrador) passed by a bipartisan vote of 26-16. The bill establishes a common sense, streamlined policy for the development of clean geothermal energy resources. The bill reduces redundancy and bureaucratic delays by requiring only a single environmental review to be completed for all geothermal exploration test holes within the same leased area.

The Utilizing America’s Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act (H.R. 2172, Rep. Noem) passed by a bipartisan vote of 27-16. This bill speeds the production of clean, renewable energy by streamlining the process to develop onshore wind power on BLM and U.S. Forest Service. The bill also sets a 30-day timeline for issuing permits on federal land and streamlines the regulatory requirements for installing temporary infrastructure to test and monitor weather.

The Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act (H.R. 2173, Rep. Wittman) passed by a bipartisan vote of 24-18. The bill would streamline the process for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to approve temporary infrastructure, such as towers or buoys, to test and develop offshore wind power in the Outer Continental Shelf.

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