|Wittman Introduces Renewable Energy Legislation|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) joined with his colleagues serving on the House Natural Resources Committee today to introduce a series of legislation aimed to expand renewable energy production and create jobs. Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, Energy and Minerals Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn and Reps. Raúl Labrador and Kristi Noem joined Wittman to introduce legislation, part of House Republicans’ American Energy Initiative. The four renewable energy bills would streamline bureaucratic impediments to the efficient development of solar, wind, and geothermal renewable energy technologies on federal lands and waters.
“With energy prices continuing to creep upward, we must continue to pursue an all-of-the-above, American-made energy strategy,” Wittman said. “Virginia has the opportunity to be a leader in offshore wind development, especially with a stream-lined process to foster development. With favorable wind resources offshore and a strong maritime and manufacturing industry, Virginians are ready to get to work producing American-made energy.”
Wittman also stressed the importance of coordination with the Department of Defense, specifically adding a provision within the bill for coordination with the Department of Defense or other federal, state and local agencies.
“House Republicans are committed to utilizing America’s abundant and diverse energy resources to implement an all-of-the-above, American-made energy strategy. This includes utilizing our public lands for renewable energy projects,” said Chairman Hastings. “Too often renewable energy projects get caught up in government red-tape and it can take years to break free. Our goal should be to encourage the production of renewable energy, not impose duplicative regulations that cause years of delays. These bills are necessary in order to facilitate the development of clean, renewable energy and provide a clear, simple process for completing important environmental reviews.”
Members introduced the following renewable energy bills:
The Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act (Wittman, VA) would streamline the process for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to approve temporary infrastructure, such as towers or buoys, to test and develop offshore wind power in the Outer Continental Shelf.
The Cutting Red Tape to Facilitate Renewable Energy Act (Hastings, WA) would accelerate the development of clean, renewable energy projects on federal lands by streamlining and simplifying government regulations, while still ensuring thorough environmental reviews.
The Utilizing America’s Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act (Noem, SD) would streamline the process to test and develop onshore wind power on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service land.
The Exploring Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act (Labrador, ID) would reduce redundancy and bureaucratic delays by establishing a common sense policy for the development of clean, geothermal energy.
A legislative hearing for these bills will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2011.