The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Senate Committee Passes Geothermal Leasing Measure

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met Thursday, May 16th, to vote on a series of measures that included S. 363, The Geothermal Expansion and Production Act. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Wyden (D-OR), and co-sponsored by Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Begich (D-AK), Crapo (R-ID), Risch (R-ID) and Merkley (D-OR).

The legislation would allow the Secretary of the Interior to issue one additional non-competitive lease of no more than 640 acres to a federal lessee that makes a discovery on an existing lease. Given the uncertainties of locating geothermal resources precisely without drilling, the bill is intended to provide some flexibility for companies taking the risk of finding a new geothermal reservoir to obtain additional lands should the thermal feature extend into an adjacent area. The legislation includes provisions to ensure fair market value is paid for the small additional lease that could be offered.

While the Committee voted to support the same legislation unanimously last year, it was unable to work its way through the full legislative process and had to start over in the new Congress. The vote was expected to be routine, but Senator Landrieu (D-LA) asked for a separate roll call vote on the measure, reportedly due to concerns she had over problems with other laws involving natural resources.

The Senate Committee, however, was at first unable to have a roll call due to a lack of a quorum. Chairman Wyden, however, held a Committee meeting off the Senate floor at 2:15pm in the afternoon to corral members in order to vote on this and several other bills. In that meeting, S. 363 was passed with bi-partisan support on a voice vote, with Senator Landrieu being recorded as voting "present."

Together with other legislation passed yesterday, S. 363 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

This article was originally published in GEA's Geothermal Energy Weekly and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Capitol building via Shutterstock


UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Germany wind turbines. Credit: Shutterstock.

Germany's Powerhouse Feels Pinch of Merkel’s Shift to Renewables

Tino Andresen, Bloomberg North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state that’s home to utilities RWE AG and EON SE, is losing its standing as the country’s powerhouse as wind and solar energy begin to displace conventional sources. Electricity consumers ...
UK Conservatives Spark Renewable Energy Fears

UK Conservative Victory Sparks Climate and Renewable Energy Concerns

Alex Morales, Bloomberg

The surprise Conservative victory in the recent UK elections have some worrying about the future of renewable and climate progress, but officials are now calming those fears.

Leslie is located in Washington DC at the Office of the Geothermal Energy Association and serves on the Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo committee.


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

GEA Geothermal Energy Expo 2015

Every year, the Geothermal Energy Expo® hosts the world's largest ga...

National Geothermal Summit 2015

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is pleased to be holding its fif...


Net Zero Energy Efficient Buildings and Geothermal Heat Pumps

As the U.S. market for green building design and construction evolves, ...

Geothermal Earth Day Visual: Shaping Environmental Solutions

Earth day 2015 is an important point in history for the environment. Mem...

Environmentally friendly solutions for projects

geoAMPS joins the celebration of the worldwide observance of Earth Day o...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now