Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., has introduced H.R.2662, the Clean Energy Promotion Act. The bipartisan legislation would promote renewable energy projects on public lands.
‘By facilitating renewable energy projects on our public lands, we can create jobs while building the clean energy economy,’ says Heinrich. ‘This is a commonsense, cost-effective approach to promoting clean energy development.’
Some of the best areas for solar and wind energy in the West are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), but BLM currently lacks the resources to process the hundreds applications it has already received for renewable energy projects, according to Heinrich. To date, zero solar energy projects on BLM lands have been approved.
The Clean Energy Promotion Act would dedicate up to $5 million per year to these offices to process current and future renewable energy applications. This funding would be derived from existing rental payments paid by wind and solar developers for projects on BLM lands. As new wind and solar projects are approved, rental payments will increase, resulting in even more renewable energy production.
‘We applaud Congressman Heinrich's efforts to devote more resources to BLM so that field offices can process the nearly 200 applications pending for solar projects,’ says Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. ‘Streamlining the bureaucracy will allow the U.S. to develop our vast solar resources and create tens of thousands of jobs in the American Southwest.’
SOURCE: Office of Martin Heinrich