Bill would return geothermal royalties to state, counties |

Bill would return geothermal royalties to state, counties

Steve Ranson
Nevada Appeal News Service

FALLON – Nevada Sens. John Ensign and Harry Reid announced Tuesday a victory for counties when it comes to receiving a fair share of geothermal royalties.

According to a press release from the two senators, their legislation will eventually ensure that counties that have geothermal activity will receive their share of money generated from geothermal energy development on public lands.

The legislation received unanimous consent from the U.S. Senate. It now advances to the House of Representatives, and if approved, goes to the president for his signature.

“Today is a big win for our state,” Ensign said. “The loss of geothermal royalties last year has cost counties in Nevada to lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The bill “will ensure that the economy in our state will not be forced to take another hit when it comes to monetary and job losses that stem from losing out on geothermal royalties,” Ensign said.

The legislation will give

50 percent of geothermal royalties to the state, 25 percent will go to the counties and the final 25 percent will be sent to the federal government.

Late last year, an amendment was tacked on to a bill to have all money derived from sales, bonuses, rentals and royalties under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 revert to the federal government as originally provided in the Geothermal Act of 1970.

The change affected about 31 counties in six states including Nevada.