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Geothermal Legislation Reiterates Committee's Commitment to All of the Above Energy

  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on six bills focused on expediting the development of geothermal energy and streamlining processes impacting oil and gas production on federal lands. Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) issued the following statement in response:

"In order to restore American energy dominance, we must utilize an all-of-the-above approach that includes geothermal energy along with more traditional resources like oil and gas. That’s why I was proud to chair a hearing today to examine several critical pieces of legislation to improve permitting to ensure geothermal energy can be produced more easily in the United States in addition to legislation that will ease the unfair obstacles currently facing oil and gas operators. These bills will go a long way in supporting both American families and our national security interests, and I thank my colleagues for bringing them forward."


These bills underscore committee Republicans’ commitment to an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Geothermal energy development has significant potential on federal lands, and commonsense reforms are needed to ensure access to this renewable resource.

H.R. 6482, the Enhancing Geothermal Production on Federal Lands Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho), would streamline the permitting process for geothermal energy production on federal lands. Additionally, the bill would direct the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) to designate geothermal leasing priority areas on federal lands that are economically viable for geothermal energy production.

H.R. 7370, the Geothermal Energy Opportunity (GEO) Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), would require the DOI to continue processing drilling permits for projects with a Record of Decision. This would prevent DOI from being unilaterally halt permits and authorizations when there is no legal wrongdoing.

H.R. 7409, the Harnessing Energy at Thermal Sources (HEAT) Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.), would expedite the development of geothermal energy projects on non-federal lands that involve minimal federal minerals. It would help ease unnecessary regulatory burdens for geothermal developments on non-federal lands.

H.R. 7375, introduced by U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), would amend the mineral leasing act to direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to improve the assessment of expression of interest fees and help ensure the Biden administration is following the law related to onshore oil and gas leasing.

H.R. 7377, the Royalty Resiliency Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas), will ease the unfair burden of royalties placed on operators while they wait for various approvals from BLM. These approvals often take years resulting in unnecessary overpayments by operators. 

H.R. 7422, the Geothermal Cost-Recovery Authority Act of 2024, introduced by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), would provide DOI with explicit authority to charge geothermal lease holders fees to recover costs for geothermal lease applications, geothermal permits to drill, utilization plans, site licenses, facility construction permits, commercial use permits, other approvals associated with a geothermal lease and inspection and monitoring of exploration activities, drilling and plugging of wells, and construction, operation and reclamation of well sites. 

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