Thursday, February 27, 2020

USA, Washington DC: American Energy Innovation Act Would Boost Geothermal Energy Development

Murkowski, Manchin Introduce American Energy Innovation Act (Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee)

After a full year of hearings, business meetings, and bipartisan negotiations, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., today released the text of their energy innovation package.

The American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA) will modernize domestic energy laws to ensure the United States remains a global energy leader while also strengthening national security, increasing our international competitiveness, and investing in clean energy technologies.

Section 1203. Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership.

Section 1203 directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to

  • update its geothermal resource assessment; 
  • establishes a program to transfer and adapt key oil and gas technologies for geothermal development; 
  • creates a prize competition for the production of critical minerals from geothermal brines; 
  • expands research into enhanced geothermal systems; 
  • establishes a research program for heat pumps and direct use; 
  • defines the thermal component of geothermal energy as renewable;
  • reauthorizes DOE’s geothermal R&D program for five years; 
  • reauthorizes a program for geothermal development in locations with high utility prices; 
  • directs the Secretaries of the Interior, Energy, and Agriculture to establish national goals for geothermal development; 
  • allows noncompetitive leasing for geothermal energy on federal lands if it will be coproduced from an existing oil or gas well; 
  • provides for expedited geothermal energy exploration on public lands under certain strict, environmentally protective parameters; and 
  • directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to coordinate with the Forest Service, Department of Defense, and EPA on permit processing. 
For the full bill text, please click here. For a high-level summary, please click here. For a section-by-section, please click here.