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Rep. Young Kim

Feb 20, 2024 | Press Releases

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Young Kim (CA-40) and John Duarte (CA-13) introduced the Harnessing Energy at Thermal Sources (HEATS) Act to speed up U.S. energy production by streamlining geothermal energy infrastructure development and production.

The HEATS Act would expedite geothermal energy production by clarifying that geothermal operators do not need a federal drilling permit for wells that are on state and private lands where the subsurface geothermal estate is less than 50% federal. While operators would be exempt from federal permitting requirements, they would still be subject to state permitting regulations.

Geothermal energy is a clean source that can be used to heat homes and buildings, generate electricity, and power industrial processes.

“Energy security is national security. Deploying U.S. energy innovation promotes U.S. energy independence, expands our energy portfolio, lowers costs for Americans, reduces emissions, and secures supply chains,” said Rep. Young Kim. “The HEATS Act helps us achieve these goals and is a commonsense way to accelerate renewable geothermal energy production and deployment which is a win for our economy, national security, and environment.”

“California is a top geothermal energy producer in the United States, yet the federal government is failing to capitalize on this abundant energy resource. That is why, as a Californian, I’m proud to co-lead the initiative for the Harnessing Energy at Thermal Sources (HEATS) Act. This bill aims to expedite geothermal energy infrastructure development and production by eliminating the burdensome requirement for operators to obtain a federal drilling permit—a long and arduous process. Additionally, with energy expenses skyrocketing, many Valley residents have been confronted with the choice between adequately heating and ventilating their homes and other vital needs. By increasing production, this bill has the potential to decrease energy costs for families across California,” said Rep. Duarte.

“The current permitting process has stifled development of innovative geothermal projects that offer 24/7 baseload clean energy. Like the reforms included in H.R.1, the Lower Energy Cost Act, Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)’s bill proposes to level the playing field for geothermal projects by extending existing categorical exclusions to support this growing industry while reducing emissions. These reforms are badly needed to unlock investment in these promising technologies to get steel in the ground,” said Rich Powell, CEO, ClearPath Action.

Read the bill HERE.

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