Tester Bill “A Win-Win” for Clean Energy, Public Lands

Legislation would create the framework for more efficient, responsible renewable energy development on public lands

02-11-2013 // Miles Grant
Big Horn Ram

Conservation and clean energy leaders today welcomed the reintroduction of the Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013, championed by Montana Senator Jon Tester, Nevada Senator Dean Heller, Idaho Senator Jim Risch and bipartisan champions in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would create the framework for more efficient, responsible renewable energy development on public lands and would strategically direct the revenue from development to pay back local communities, fish and wildlife resources, and hunting and angling access potentially impacted by this clean energy development.

“This is a win-win strategy to facilitate needed renewable energy development on suitable public lands,” said Tom France, Senior Director of Western Wildlife Conservation of the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountains and Prairies Regional Center. “This bill works because it balances the need to expand our renewable energy base and still protect key fish and wildlife habitats.”

“The reintroduction of this legislation underscores Senator Tester’s continuing commitment to the sportsman of Montana and the economy the renewable development brings to our state,” added T.O. Smith, Renewable Energy Coordinator of Trout Unlimited. “Thirty-five percent of royalties collected would go to a conservation fund while state and county governments would receive 25 percent each.”

Last Congress, the Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act was also supported by the Western Governors Association, the National Association of Counties, and numerous sportsmen’s conservation organizations.

"This bill is a step forward for renewable energy development on public lands,” states James Carkulis, CEO, Exergy Integrated Systems. “It provides measurable certainty for the industry, and additional revenues for local governments. Exergy has a strong ethic to conserve our natural environment so we support the siting requirements as well.”

“We applaud Senator Risch for his leadership and collaboration with Senator Tester,” said Rob Fraser, President of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. “This approach will strengthen our local economies while investing in conservation to sustain our wildlife and sportsman heritage and for future generations to enjoy.”

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