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H.R. 4568: Enhancing Geothermal Production on Federal Lands Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 6, 2017.

Enhancing Geothermal Production on Federal Lands Act

This bill amends the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 to allow the Department of the Interior to award noncompetitive leases on up to 640 acres of certain federal land for geothermal development.

Interior must lease the land at fair market value, publish a notice of any lease requests, and provide review of the final determination of fair market value.

Lessees must make annual rental payments equal to those required for lands that are leased competitively.

The bill exempts geothermal exploration test projects from complying with environmental review requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Interior must designate portions of certain federal land as geothermal leasing priority areas. The bill sets forth requirements for environmental review under NEPA with respect to the priority areas.