Rep. Gosar Introduces Legislation to Increase Energy Development on Public Land

Feb 8, 2013 Issues: Energy, Public Lands and Water, Natural Resources


For Immediate Release
 February 8, 2013


Contact: Orlando Watson

Rep. Gosar Introduces Legislation to Increase Energy Development on Public Land   

                                            Bill will spur the energy sector and job creation

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S (R - AZ) introduced The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act, H.R. 596, legislation that streamlines permitting for renewable energy projects on public lands. Joe Heck (R-NV), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) joined him as the primary proponents.

“Arizona can be a model for energy-driven economic recovery in this country, but bureaucratic red tape has gotten in the way. This bill is a part of a comprehensive energy policy that gets the government out of the way, grows our energy sector and spurs job creation,” said Congressman Gosar.

“Renewable energy development on public lands will create jobs and move us closer to energy security, but permits must be processed more efficiently so projects can actually get started,” Rep. Joe Heck said. “This bill will streamline the approval process so states like Nevada, where more than 80% of the state is owned by the federal government, can reap the benefits of renewable projects. If we truly want to pursue an "all of the above" national energy strategy, we must develop all energy sources on all possible lands: publically-held lands offer some of the best renewable energy development opportunities. I'm pleased to join this bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act and look forward to working to see it passed.”

“This legislation will ensure that Colorado is at the center of the coming renewable energy boom,” said Congressman Polis. “We know we must grow our economy by producing cheaper, renewable energy and this bill will help the West lead the way.

“Many of California’s public lands are perfect for responsible renewable energy development, but bureaucracy too often prevents us from capitalizing on this economic engine,” said Thompson.  “This bill helps fix that. It will streamline responsible renewable energy projects on public lands, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and put Californians back to work. That’s good for our economy, environment and national security.”    

H.R.596 also provides local governments increased revenue and certainty by establishing a more predictable and direct royalty system from energy production that will support wildlife conservation, hunting, fishing and other recreational opportunities on federal land.

The Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act has broad bipartisan support throughout the west.  At introduction, the bill had fifteen original cosponsors from seven different western states: Mike Thompson (D-CA), Joe Heck (R-NV),  Jared Polis (D-CO), Jeff Denham (R-CA) Mike Coffman (R-CO), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Michael Simpson (R-ID),  Jim Costa (D-CA), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Mark Amodei (R-NV), and Diane DeGette, (D-CO).