A new bipartisan renewable energy bill has broad support within the sporting community because it includes royalty provisions for public lands renewable energy development that would help fund important conservation work.
The bill (S. 1407), introduced by Republican Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Jim Risch of Idaho, and Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Jon Tester of Montana, would balance the need to protect and restore public lands fish and game habitat with the development of new sources of wind and solar energy.
“It’s important to sportsmen and women that we protect our public lands habitat, because that habitat translates into great fishing and hunting,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “We recognize the need for energy security and for our nation to diversify its energy portfolio. This bill will allow the country to tap new energy resources while enhancing the fish and game habitat that is vital to our sporting heritage.”
All four senators who introduced the bill today have supported previous versions of the bill, which means the bipartisan effort to produce meaningful legislation around renewable energy continues. These leaders also recognize the importance of protecting and restoring important habitat for fish and game—hence the bill’s proposal to direct royalties generated by wind and solar energy production to habitat improvement efforts. Other portions of the royalties will go to state and county governments, who in recent years have been strong advocates for the legislation.
“This is a good bill for rural communities, thanks to royalties that go directly to local governments, and the royalties that go to habitat improvement,” Wood said. “Many local economies depend on fishing and hunting activity, and this bill ensures the habitat sportsmen and women need for their pastimes remains healthy.”
Trout Unlimited supports the bipartisan effort to pass thoughtful renewable energy legislation, Wood said.
“We look forward to working with those in Congress who get behind this bill and help ensure the protection and restoration of quality fish and game habitat,” Wood said. “This bill is proof that conservation need not be political, only that it be practical. We’re grateful for the strong leadership demonstrated by the four senators who introduced this bill, and we look forward to the bill becoming law.”
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at tu.org.