Wednesday, April 20, 2016

USA: Geothermal Energy Opportunities Act Advances Within Energy Bill

Senate OKs two Wyden renewable energy bills (KTVZ)

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced the Senate on Wednesday passed two bills he wrote to increase domestic production of low-carbon renewable energy from underground hotspots and the power in ocean waves, tides and currents.

Wyden’s  Geothermal Energy Opportunities Act would encourage geothermal production by streamlining government permitting and mapping geothermal resources.

Wyden pushed for his bills to be included in the bipartisan S.2012 Energy Policy Modernization Act, which the Senate passed by a vote of 85 to 12.

Oregon's geothermal resource is ranked third in the nation, with the potential to produce at least 2,200 megawatts of electric power – enough energy to power about 1.5 million homes a year.

Wyden’s Geothermal Energy Opportunities Act included a smaller bill, the Geothermal Production Expansion Act that he introduced in March 2015 along with Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Jim Risch, R-Idaho. The Geothermal Production Expansion Act passed the Senate in 2014.

Wyden is a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.