May 19, 2021

Rep. Mike Levin Reintroduces Bill to Responsibly Expand Renewable Energy on Public Lands

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) reintroduced the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act, a bill to help combat the climate crisis and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by promoting development of wind, solar, and geothermal energy on public lands. The bill includes measures to facilitate investment in high quality renewable sources, ensure a fair revenue share for impacted communities, and minimize impacts to wildlife and cultural sites.

“The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our time, and we must drastically expand renewable energy development if we are going to adequately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the worst impacts of this crisis,” said Rep. Levin. “Our public lands have incredible potential for wind, solar, and geothermal energy development, and we must harness that potential as part of our clean energy future. My bill will expedite that critical renewable energy development, create good-paying jobs in communities across the country, and ensure we remain good stewards of our public lands. I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation, and I look forward to advancing it as soon as possible.”

The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act helps combat the climate crisis and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the development of wind, solar, and geothermal energy on public lands. The bill includes measures to ensure a fair return for impacted states and communities and directs revenues to fund conservation. In addition, the bill incentivizes development in lower-conflict priority areas, while ensuring impacts to wildlife, habitat, and cultural resources are avoided and minimized.

The bill establishes a revenue sharing mechanism ensuring a fair return for relevant stakeholders. The revenue sharing mechanism will distribute certain revenues derived through the bill by returning 25 percent to the state where development occurs, 25 percent to the counties of origin, 25 percent deposited into a fund for sportsmen and conservation purposes, and 25 percent directed for the purposes of more efficiently processing permit applications and reducing the backlog of renewable energy permits.

The following organizations have endorsed the bill: The Wilderness Society, American Clean Power, Natural Resources Defense Council, Solar Energy Industries Association, EDF Renewables, Ormat Technologies Inc, Trout Unlimited, National Association of Counties, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Outdoor Alliance.