Geothermal energy is energy that is produced by heat from the Earth. This heat results from decaying radioactive elements in the Earthâ€™s mantle. It is estimated that the thermal energy situated within 6 miles of Earth’s surface contains 50,000 times more energy than the worldâ€™s oil and natural gas reserves. Geothermal energy is acquired by tapping into underground reservoirs of heat that are often located near volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. Some geothermal power plants capture steam that naturally vents at these formations. Other plants drill boreholes and pump water into the rock surrounding these geothermal features. In either case, steam is captured in pipes that lead to turbines which turn electrical generators. In 2012, about 0.41% of Americaâ€™s electricity was produced by geothermal energy. However, nearly 5% of Californiaâ€™s total electricity needs are furnished by its 40 geothermal power plants, led by The Geysers, the largest group of geothermal power plants in the world. Supporters claim geothermal power is clean, sustainable, offers constant output and is grossly underutilized. They also say that geothermal energy can be developed in areas where there is no volcanic activity.
S.362 – Geothermal Exploration and Technology Act of 2013
I oppose reforming current geothermal power policy and wish to defeat S.362
I support establishing a direct loan program for high risk geothermal exploration wells, giving preference to loans to carry out projects that are likely to lead to successful new geothermal electricity production; requiring data from exploratory wells to be used in mapping national geothermal resources; determining the number of wells for each selected geothermal project for which a loan may be made; identifying and mitigating potential environmental impacts; making grants to promote the development of geothermal heat pumps and the direct use of geothermal energy; giving priority to proposals that apply to large buildings, commercial districts, and residential communities, and wish to pass S.362