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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA


May 5, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today released the following statement in recognition of California’s Geothermal Awareness Day.

“Geothermal energy is an excellent source of clean, renewable energy that supports thousands of jobs across our district and state. Not only does the production of geothermal energy boost our economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it provides counties with important royalty payments which they use to pay for things such as public safety, road maintenance and law enforcement. 

“When the President proposed repealing these payments, I fought against it. If a community invests in developing geothermal energy, they deserve to get their fair share in returns. Stripping counties of these returns is a short sighted, fiscally irresponsible plan that will hurt communities and have no meaningful impact on deficit reduction. On a day when we are raising awareness of the many benefits of geothermal energy, we should take special note of how important geothermal royalties are to counties across our state.”

Thompson recently led a letter calling on President Obama to protect local clean energy royalties from harmful budget cuts.

Geothermal revenue sharing was first started through the bipartisan Energy Policy Act of 2005. Congress decided that because of the high burdens geothermal production places on the counties where it is developed, the counties should share in the revenue.

Counties use geothermal revenues to pay for governmental services, such as road maintenance, public safety and law enforcement, and conservation easements. Many of the counties receiving revenue from geothermal receipts are small, rural counties facing uncertain budget situations. The loss of such revenue for these counties could result in the elimination or reduction of essential services.

Revenue sharing has also made counties vested partners in the continued development of geothermal energy – a clean, renewable, and domestic energy source that provides jobs in rural areas.

In FY 2013, Lake County received more than $802,000 in geothermal royalties.

In FY 2013, Sonoma County received more than $1.1 million in geothermal royalties.


Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.


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