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Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013

2012/8/24 16:03
From Philly
Posts: 0
Hey all.

I'm sure many of you received the email from TU regarding the legislation referenced in the topic heading.

For those of you who didn't I've included the email below...

We have a great opportunity to see a bipartisan bill passed in Congress that would create new conservation funding without adding to the federal deficit, but we need your help. A recently introduced bill would use a portion of the royalties from wind and solar energy development to fund conservation work. Such funding would enable TU and our partners to do much-needed habitat protection and restoration work in areas affected by renewable energy development on public lands. Hunters and anglers have seen what happens when poorly managed energy development is allowed to impact their fishing and hunting. Now, as we see more wind and solar energy built out on public lands, we need this legislation to help ensure the impacts of new development are adequately addressed.

You can read the senate bill here and the house bill here

I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not a big fan of simply clicking a link in an email asking me to send a carbon copy email to my reps.

To me it sounds like a good deal in the TU email, but when I look at the bill it reads like this thing gives the national forest service the ability to establish/lease out "public land" to energy companies to develop solar or wind fields, and I'm not sure how I feel about that even if it means a couple extra dollars for rehab projects in those areas (would they be required without the new "energy plants?")

What are your thoughts?

Posted on: 2013/3/13 21:48

Re: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013

2013/3/14 13:52
Posts: 0

Thanks for posting the TU action alert and for your thoughts on the legislation. I work for TU and have spent a great deal of time engaged in our effort to help pass this bill. I want to provide some feedback on your post.

USFS already has the authority to allow wind and solar developers to build on Forest Service lands, via Special Use Permits. More important than that point though, the bill in question doesn't determine whether or not to develop wind and solar energy on public lands. The goal of the bill is to determine, that if and when wind and solar energy are developed on public lands, how to distribute the rental fees paid by developers.

Right now, all of the revenue collected from wind and solar energy developers operating on public lands is returned to the treasury. But as you may know, commecial scale energy projects, because of their large footprint, come with unavoidable impacts to the land. The bill proposes to offset that reality by sharing a portion of the collected revenue with a conservation fund, which can be used by organizations like TU to complete habitat protection and restoration work.

Lastly, a transition to the bill's revenue sharing system would apply to all projects, exisiting as well as new projects coming online.

I hope this helps clarify some of your questions and concerns. Thanks again for spreading the word on the action alert.

Posted on: 2013/3/14 15:27

Re: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013

2006/9/9 16:08
From Erie Co.
Posts: 348
When is TU going to get behind Access to trout streams and get out of the pockets of the big private waters groups? Until then I cannot support TU efforts.

Posted on: 2013/3/14 20:03

Re: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013

2012/8/24 16:03
From Philly
Posts: 0
TUHQ, thank you for taking the time to create an account and respond to my post, and welcome to the board!

Posted on: 2013/3/15 8:31

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