Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today announced he is co-sponsoring the bi-partisan Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (S. 1775), which would create a competitive leasing program for solar and wind energy projects on land owned by the federal government. The legislation would streamline permitting for renewable energy development and replace the current rental fee paid by companies with a reasonable royalty on production.
“This legislation will encourage renewable energy development and help create jobs for Nevadans throughout the state.” Reid said. “Local and state governments that have already been stretched thin will receive their fair share of revenues for projects on federal lands as renewable energy development spreads and continues to establish Nevada as the country’s clean energy leader.”
The legislation would:
• Help drive investment toward the highest quality renewable resources with the fewest natural resource conflicts;
• Improve the permitting process for renewable energy development; and
• Collect reasonable royalty payments, 50 percent of which would go to Nevada counties and the State
Royalties collected would benefit Nevada counties and the State. Revenues would also be used to fund fish and wildlife conservation projects, to provide access to public lands, and to process renewable energy applications.
The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act was introduced yesterday by Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana). Reid introduced similar legislation in the last Congress that was supported by sportsman’s, tax and conversation groups alike. The leasing program for projects on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands would be based largely on the geothermal leasing program.