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Renewable Energy Bill Would Speed Up Project Approvals on Public Lands

Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar wants to update the process for developing renewable energy on public lands. He’s introduced a bipartisan bill designed to expand wind, solar and geothermal projects. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Under the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act, counties and states would receive a guaranteed share of the revenue from projects within their borders. Some local officials complain they aren’t properly compensated for current green energy development.

Congressman Gosar says restructuring profits from renewables will drive investment and create jobs.

"We have found that when you share those, and dictate where the revenues go for the royalties, then everybody cooperates very closely and tries to facilitate streamlining the process," Gosar says.

Revenue would also benefit conservation projects and outdoor access for hunting and fishing. In addition, Gosar says the Renewable Energy Act would quicken federal approval for green energy development by removing redundant regulations. Conservation groups like the Wilderness Society and the National Wildlife Federation have come out in support of the bill.

It’s set to go before the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, of which Gosar is the chairman.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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