western governors asking washington for revenue and a more clearly defined energy permitting process
In a move to increase and enhance alternative energy production, the governors of 22 Western states are calling on Congress to better define the rules and regulations for pursuing such projects, particularly on federal lands.
In an open letter to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, James Ogsbury, executive director of the Western Governors’ Association, notes that the West has an abundance of “wind, solar, and geothermal energy resource, including on federal lands, and accessing their resources is a critical part of our region’s and the nation’s energy future.”
Ogsbury, the former legislation director for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, added that the governors of the West in particular want “clear and coordinated permitting processes to promote the responsible and efficient development of these resources.”
But he additionally noted that the Denver-based governors’ group is also calling for a settling of accounts with Washington: alternative energy development within the Western states must be accompanied by “the disposition of revenues to states and counties to compensate them for the efforts of renewable energy projects within their borders.”
In an earlier press release, the Western Governors Association noted that the states of the West today are at the forefront of “unconventional natural gas production,” with the Southwest in particular possessing “some of the highest-identified solar energy resources areas in the United States.”
That same press release additionally noted that the West in general has the “largest contiguous areas of high-yield biomass energy resources potential in the nation.”
The House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is currently holding hearings looking into ways to increase renewable energy projects on public lands in the states.
By Garry Boulard
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