Geothermal: The Future Ahead

By Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01) 

America's energy future is exciting as new technologies enhance the possibilities in the hydropower, nuclear, and geothermal space. In particular, geothermal energy has an optimistic arena to bring reliable, clean energy to Americans nationwide. As many Idahoans already know, geothermal is a proven technology with a fascinating history in my home state of Idaho.
In the late 19th century, Idahoans began tapping into local geothermal sources for energy purposes. Today, Boise is not only the first city to utilize geothermal heat but is the largest-operated geothermal system in the country. Amazingly, geothermal wells developed more than 100 years ago are heating the Idaho State Capitol, Boise City Hall, portions of Boise State University, and many other buildings in the city.
Along with advancements in technology, one other area where geothermal sources are highly prevalent is on Federal Lands. With the history of Idaho in the geothermal space and the potential future for geothermal on Federal Lands, earlier this year, I introduced the Committing Leases for Energy Access Now (CLEAN Act) to encourage this budding resource. Nearly 90 percent of viable geothermal resources are estimated to be located on federally controlled lands, and the CLEAN Act will boost lease sales on Federal Lands and help cultivate geothermal resources into the future.
I believe American energy independence should be a top priority for Congress. Geothermal is a renewable power source that can help us accomplish that goal. During National Clean Energy Week, I celebrate the future potential geothermal energy can provide to Idahoans and beyond.
Alongside Senator James E. Risch of Idaho, Congressman Fulcher has been a strong proponent of utilizing geothermal resources on Federal Lands during his tenure in the House of Representatives. Idaho has a long history in the geothermal heating and energy space with the potential for increased baseload power generation from sources on Federal Lands. Congressman Fulcher has sponsored the "Enhancing Geothermal Production on Federal Lands Act" and the "Committing Leases for Energy Access Now Act" to encourage entrepreneurship in the geothermal heating and energy space into the future. 

This article was originally published in the Congressional Western Caucus publication "Branded."