U.S. bills target clean energy red tape

June 15, 2011 at 6:45 AM

WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- The goal of U.S. lawmakers should be to encourage renewable energy growth not create legislative roadblocks, the Natural Resources Committee chairman said.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, led a group of lawmakers in introducing a series of bills they say expands renewable energy production.

Hastings in a statement said renewable energy programs in the United States get snarled too often by government red tape.

"Our goal should be to encourage the production of renewable energy, not impose duplicative regulations that cause years of delays," he said. "These bills are necessary in order to facilitate the development of clean, renewable energy and provide a clear, simple process for completing important environmental reviews."

The bills would accelerate development of renewable energy programs on federal land by making the regulatory process more efficient. Measures for offshore and onshore wind production would make it easier for regulators to approve temporary infrastructure. An additional bill would encourage a "common sense policy" regarding the development of geothermal energy on federal lands.

Hastings in May sponsored legislation that sets domestic oil and natural gas production targets that will cut foreign dependence by one-third.

A legislative hearing on the clean-energy bills is scheduled for June 23.

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