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Survey Finds Large Support For Redistributed Renewable Energy Revenues

solar panels
(KJZZ file photo)

Survey results released Wednesday show 79 percent of Arizonans would support development of renewable energy projects on public lands if the revenue generated went to local budgets and conservation projects.

More than 70 percent of those surveyed in 11 western states support the idea. What would happen is revenue generated by leases and fees would be split between state and county budgets, Bureau of Land Management permitting and conservation efforts. Ian Dowdy with the Sonoran Institute describes the survey results.

“By an overwhelming majority, they say we need to redistribute these funds so that they provide more value to our states and our counties," Dowdy said. "And also they serve to restore habitat and provide value to wildlife throughout our states.” 

A bill called the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) aims to do that. Sponsored by Arizona representative Paul Gosar, the bill has bi-partisan support including the co-sponsorship by five other Arizona representatives.

Currently, all revenue generated from such projects goes to the federal government’s general fund.

Andrew Bernier was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2016.