Murkowski, Manchin Introduce “Hot” New Bill to Advance Geothermal R&D

October 23, 2019

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation to accelerate geothermal energy development in the United States.

The Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act of 2019 (the “AGILE” Act) includes provisions for research and development of both existing and enhanced geothermal systems, resource assessment updates, grant program authorization, and improved permitting.

“Geothermal is a highly reliable, zero-emission resource able to provide both heat and power almost anywhere,” Murkowski said. “Our committee’s June hearing highlighted the opportunity geothermal holds to contribute to America’s energy future, with expanded innovation and deployment. Our new bill addresses both technical and non-technical barriers that have kept us from realizing geothermal’s full potential.”

“As Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee I’ve maintained my belief that we need an all-of-the-above energy strategy and doubled down on my commitment on advancing clean energy technologies. To that end, I’m proud of the innovative work being done at West Virginia University and the National Energy Technology Lab to explore geothermal possibilities in West Virginia. The Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act will enhance support for important research, like that at NETL, to identify and explore deeper or lower temperature resources and illustrate that geothermal can work anywhere – including Appalachia,” Manchin said. 

The Department of Energy estimates that up to 60 gigawatts of geothermal power could be developed in the United States by 2050 through innovation and regulatory reform. Earlier this year, the Department released a major new report, GeoVision, focused on the resource.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Manchin is the committee’s ranking member. In July, Murkowski hosted Manchin in Alaska, where they visited Chena Hot Springs Resort, which is powered by low temperature geothermal.

Click here for more information about the AGILE Act.

Click here for the bill text.

Click here to watch the committee’s July 2019 hearing on geothermal energy.