Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act

A bill to balance renewable energy development with fish, wildlife and public land users
Tell Congress you support PLREDA

The Public Land Renewable Energy Act would support responsible development of wind, solar and geothermal projects on public lands with high potential for energy and low impact on wildlife and habitat.

Critically, the act would also strategically direct the royalty revenue from development to invest in local communities, fish and wildlife resources and more efficient permitting for renewable energy projects.

PLREDA creates a much needed conservation fund for fish and wildlife populations

In the House version of the bill:

%

of royalties would go to the state where projects are sited

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of royalties would go to the counties where projects are sited

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of royalties would be deposited in a fund for fish, wildlife, and land conservation

%

of royalties would fund the Interior Department to process wind and solar lease applications

%

of royalties would go to reducing the federal deficit

In the Senate version of the bill:

%

of royalties would go to the state where projects are sited

%

of royalties would go to the counties where projects are sited

%

35 to 40 percent of royalties would be deposited in a fund for fish, wildlife, and land conservation

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15 to 25 percent of royalties would fund the Interior Department to process wind and solar lease applications

%

The Senate version does NOT set money aside for reducing the federal deficit

This bipartisan bill is widely supported by a strong group of conservationists, states, and counties. PLREDA strikes the important balance between development of new clean energy infrastructure and the conservation of our natural resources.  By identifying priority areas for wind, solar and geothermal development, PLREDA encourages smart siting and efficient permitting of projects in places with high potential for energy and low impact on wildlife and habitat. Planning ahead for development in priority areas offers developers certainty for their project timelines and saves both time and money.

Further, the bill would improve management of public lands because it would create a positive incentive for counties and states to support the construction of renewable energy projects on public lands by ensuring that a portion of project revenue would flow back to states and counties.  Importantly, the bill would also help to improve public lands for future generations by directing a portion of project revenues for conservation for fish and wildlife management.  Finally, the revenue sharing model laid out in PLREDA would also help permitting agencies advance renewable energy by securing necessary resources to efficiently manage, review and advance applications for new projects.

The nation’s public lands system provides Americans with the some of the world’s richest opportunities for outdoor recreation. For anglers, public lands contain some of the most valuable trout and salmon habitat in the nation. In fact, in most western states, public lands comprise more than 70 percent of the available habitat for native trout, representing the vast majority of remaining strongholds for coldwater species.

In some cases, federal holdings also represent a reasonable setting for well-planned and properly mitigated renewable energy development projects. These energy projects could stimulate job growth, reduce carbon pollution, and contribute to the protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat on public lands.

Utility-scale wind and solar projects are a growing presence on our public lands. These projects will help us move toward a clean energy future, but can take up large chunks of land for long periods of time, and may cause some unavoidable impacts on fish, wildlife and water resources and recreational access. The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act provides the conservation counterbalance to unavoidable impacts on our public lands.

PLREDA offers a way to offset issues created by development on public lands by designating a conservation fund derived from royalties and other revenues generated by wind and solar energy projects operating on federal land. The bill also directs a portion of the royalty and lease revenues from public land wind and solar projects to compensate for states and counties impacted by development. Read more about the bill details in our factsheet.

States and Counties:

Project revenues will return to states and counties, providing revenue to support local services such as roads, infrastructure and state and county projects.

Improved permitting:

Project revenues will support efficient permitting process, helping to advance projects and reduce processing time.

Habitat and public land access:

Revenues will support fish, wildlife, and land conservation in areas impacted by development. PLREDA offers a way to advance development of renewable energy on public lands in a responsible and innovative fashion, while also ensuring funds flow back into Trout Unlimited’s critical on-the-ground conservation work that benefits anglers and downstream communities.

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