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Gosar Reintroduces the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act

WASHINGTON D.C. - Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) issued the following statement after introducing the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) of 2021, which will increase production of wind, solar, and geothermal energy on public lands while also establishing a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures a fair return for states, counties, sportsmen, conservation, and taxpayers. 

“I have led this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill for the last eight years and while much of the bill was passed at the end of last year, this legislation will finish the job we have started. 

This bill will streamline land use and promote more renewable energy on federal lands.  In addition, taxpayers also benefit because the legislation directs revenues to the Department of Treasury for deficit reduction.

Increasing access to public lands for sportsmen as well as ensuring counties and states receive adequate revenue for development impacting their communities is a no brainer,” said Rep. Gosar.

In addition to Congressman Gosar, the legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Stauber (MN-08), Westerman (AR-04) and Lamborn (CO-05).

Rep. Gosar introduced this same legislation in 2019.  H.R. 3794, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2019, was cosponsored by 70 other members of Congress.

Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal are an integral part of the United States’ all-of-the-above energy strategy. Our nation’s public lands can play a critical role in supporting that mission. While approximately 40% of total geothermal electric generating capacity comes from federal lands, only about 5% of total utility-scale wind energy capacity and utility-scale solar energy capacity comes from public lands.

This bipartisan bill develops a streamlined process that will drive investment towards the highest quality renewable sources. This legislation uses upfront planning and careful siting to identify appropriate areas for wind, solar and geothermal energy. In addition, PLREDA incentivizes development in these lower-conflict priority areas while ensuring impacts to wildlife, habitat and, cultural resources are avoided and minimized. The bill also directs agencies to provide staffing resources to ensure project permitting moves forward as efficiently as possible.

H.R. 3794 establishes a revenue sharing mechanism ensuring a fair return for relevant stakeholders. The revenue sharing mechanism will distribute certain revenues derived through this Act by returning 25% to the state where development occurs, 25% to the counties of origin, 25% is deposited into a fund for sportsmen and conservation purposes, including increasing access to outdoor recreation, and 25% is directed for the purposes of more efficiently processing permit applications and reducing the backlog of renewable energy permits.

PLREDA is set for a House Natural Resources Committee virtual hearing on Monday, May 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM.