Bill would create jobs, put U.S. on a path to energy independence
(BUTTE, Mont.) - Senator Jon Tester is introducing a bill to create jobs and increase America's energy security by better utilizing Montana's geothermal energy resources.
Tester's Geothermal Exploration and Technology Act improves geothermal heat pump technology and directs the use of geothermally heated water in energy production.
The bill also directs the Department of Energy to establish a revolving loan fund for energy developers to drill wells during the exploratory phase of geothermal energy projects.
"Montana needs to take advantage of every responsible energy opportunity across our state to create jobs and lead our nation toward energy independence," Tester said. "My bill makes it easier for folks already working in this field to tap into the resources below our feet."
Tester's bill also encourages leasing with production oil and gas wells alongside of geothermal wells and increases information on domestic geothermal resources.
Advances in geothermal technology have the potential to produce more than half of the current U.S. electricity production. Geothermal technology uses drilling equipment and practices similar to those of water and oil wells and can employ the same drillers. Montana has more than 50 geothermal areas and at least 15 high-temperature sites.
Tester's Geothermal Exploration and Technology Act is cosponsored by Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska).