Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House without amendment (12/22/2014)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Exploring for Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act - (Sec. 2) Exempts geothermal exploration test projects from environmental impact statement requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) if the project:

  • causes less than five acres of soil or vegetation disruption at the location of each well and no more than five additional acres of disruption during access or egress to the test site,
  • is developed no deeper than 2,500 feet and less than eight inches in diameter,
  • is developed in a manner that does not require off-road motorized access other than to and from the well site along an identified off-road route,
  • is developed without construction of new roads other than upgrading of existing drainage crossings for safety purposes and with the use of rubber-tired digging or drilling equipment vehicles,
  • is completed in less than 45 days, and
  • requires the restoration of the project site within three years to approximately the condition that existed at the time the project began, unless the site is subsequently used as part of energy development on the lease.

Requires a holder of a geothermal lease on federal land to notify the Department of the Interior within 30 days before the start of drilling under a geothermal exploration test project. Gives Interior 10 days to review a project and notify a leaseholder that the project is exempted from NEPA requirements or that project deficiencies preclude the exemption. Requires Interior to allow a leaseholder an opportunity to remedy any deficiencies before the date on which the leaseholder intended to start drilling.