Congressman Sean Casten, speaking at a Town Hall meeting at Moraine Valley Community College.
(Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Congressman Sean Casten, speaking at a Town Hall meeting at Moraine Valley Community College.
(Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Casten lauds Biden for ‘clean energy’ move

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From staff reports

A move designed to spur the responsible development of clean energy on America’s public lands was recently lauded by U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th).

The congressman, co-chairman of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Clean Energy Deployment Task Force, joined by co-chairman Mike Levin (D-Calif.), released a statement in response to the finalization of the Renewable Energy Rule from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

“The Biden-Harris Administration announced a historic milestone in ensuring we are maximizing the ability of our public lands to fight the climate crisis,” said Casten and Levin. “We are pleased to see that we have already surpassed the goal of permitting 25 GW of renewable energy on our public lands by 2025. Now we must build on this progress and continue to aim higher. That’s why our bill, the Clean Electricity and Transmission Acceleration (CETA) Act, sets the next goal of permitting 60 GW by 2030, while also further promoting the buildout of renewable energy on public lands in a responsible, equitable, and efficient manner.

CASTEN

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten

“Responsible and planned development of renewables on public lands provides certainty to developers, setting the stage for successful projects while ensuring our most treasured resources are protected,” they continued. “We applaud the now operational projects in California, which prove this planned approach works. But we know more permitting reforms are needed to allow for more efficient development in priority areas without sacrificing environmental protections. We must also ensure that state and local communities benefit from projects in their jurisdiction. Today’s announcement strengthens our resolve to get the necessary reforms in our bill enacted into law.”

Casten and Levin introduced the Clean Electricity and Transmission Acceleration (CETA) Act in December to serve as a consensus House Democrat vision to address the primary permitting and transmission issues holding back the American clean energy transition. The bill is endorsed by the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the New Democrat Coalition. Casten and Levin co-lead the bill with 79 of their House Democratic colleagues as cosponsors.

Of particular relevance to BLM’s final rule, Title IV of CETA incorporates Rep. Levin’s Public Land Renewable Energy Deployment Act (H.R. 178). This title directs the Department of Interior to permit at least 60 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2030 and responsibly incentivizes this development on priority areas, while minimizing the adverse impacts to communities and the environment. This title also directs revenues to state and local governments– providing parity with oil and gas development– and to fund conservation and mitigation efforts.

BLM’s announcement implements authorities that Levin has supported through the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act and helped secure in the Energy Act of 2020.

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