WASHINGTON- Today, the House of Representatives passed the Continuing Resolution which includes the necessary provision to restore geothermal royalties to local counties. Geothermal production requires counties to provide increased public services, such as police patrols, and requires increased maintenance of public goods, such as roads. Geothermal revenue sharing provides a funding stream to allow local governments to support these necessary community services.
“During these tough economic times, it is important that we allow our local communities to collect the essential funds to defer the high cost that geothermal energy production puts on county budgets,” said Congressman Thompson. “These funds should never have been taken away and I am glad that our local governments can now use these payments to benefit our community.”
This month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) decided that under current funding legislation, local counties would be denied their share of geothermal royalties. The 2010 Interior Appropriations legislation had a provision that had stripped counties of the geothermal energy revenue sharing; however, Congressman Thompson fought to have those royalties restored and succeeded in including the restoration of the royalties in the Supplemental Appropriations Act passed.
The Continuing Resolution, passed today, overturns OMB’s and DOI’s decision that counties cannot receive geothermal royalty payments and ensures that counties will continue getting royalty payments for fiscal year 2011.