At a recent campaign stop in Northern Nevada, President Obama addressed geothermal energy and its importance to Nevada, as well as the need of supporting speedier approval processes and an agreement on royalties payments.
Visiting Northern Nevada as part of a campaign stop, President Obama addressed geothermal energy and its role in renewable energy development in the U.S. and in particular in Nevada. He highlighted local issues, such as the ongoing battle of local countries claiming geothermal rents and royalties.
For the past 2-3 years, county officials in Nevada and other states in the western United States have claimed geothermal rents and royalties that previously had been collected under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. An amendment to a House bill has effectively diverted those payments derived from sales, bonuses, rentals and royalties back to the federal government, as originally provided in the Geothermal Act of 1970.
Several politicians among Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, have been making the case for these payments diverted back to the counties. It is estimated that these payments consist of hundreds of thousands of dollars, not a huge amount for the Federal government but substantial sums for some of those counties in the West.
“What we have to do, I think, is find the right approach, the right balance between us needing to reduce our federal deficit but making sure we are not doing on the back’s of local communities,” Obama said.
“Trying to streamline the process and reduce bureaucracy. That’s a goal I’ve had since I came to office.” “He added he wants to create more geothermal projects in addition to the solar properties in Clark County on public lands to create more jobs. Obama said opening public land is key to the success of more green energy, but he said the federal government and states must work together in order to balance conservation and develop new energy sources.”
“Geothermal in Northern Nevada is another reason we need to keep making these investments,” he explained. He also mentioned the need for speeding up approval of projects and mentioned that some geothermal projects have been working on approval for more than seven years, clearly a way too long time.
Source: Lahontan Valley News