WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-01) has introduced the Committing Leases for Energy Access Now(CLEAN) Act to increase lease sales for geothermal energy projects on federally controlled lands. The House legislation is cosponsored by Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and is part of a broader legislative effort by Republicans in the Committee to increase domestic power production and diversify our energy portfolio in order to meet our nation’s growing demand.
Congressman Fulcher commented, “Securing American energy independence should be a top priority for Congress. Geothermal is a renewable power source that can help us accomplish that goal. Idaho already plays a leading role in geothermal energy production, and I am proud to introduce this bill to further unleash its potential as a baseload source. I thank Ranking Member Westerman for sharing a commitment to our country’s long-term energy security.”
Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman added, “As we pursue all-of-the-above energy solutions, geothermal energy must be part of the equation. Congressman Fulcher’s legislation will require annual lease sales for geothermal energy, allowing us to harness the energy already produced deep in the earth. It’s a clean, reliable energy source that we must develop further in the coming years. I’m proud to support a bill that will do just that.”
Background on the legislation:
To begin developing geothermal resources on federally controlled lands, projects must first obtain a lease. 90 percent of viable geothermal resources are estimated to be located on these federally controlled lands, making consistent lease sales crucial to the expansion of this energy source.
The CLEAN Act amends the Geothermal Steam Act to:
- Require yearly lease sales for geothermal energy. Currently, the Act requires a lease sale every two years.
- Requires the Secretary to hold replacement lease sales for any sales that are missed in a given calendar year.