- The Washington Times - Monday, January 12, 2015

Rep. Jeff Duncan, South Carolina Republican, said if the United States wants to expand the availability of land for solar and wind energy development, it should open up more federal land for exploration as part of an “all-of-the-above” approach to the issue. 

“Americans are in need of an all-of-the-above energy approach, and when you think about all-of-the-above, you think about wind, solar, hydrogen, think about all those groovy technologies I really like,” Mr. Duncan said. “I like the look of a windmill. I think that’s neat that you [can] harness the wind.” 

Mr. Duncan was speaking at the 2015 Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit, a two-day event hosted by the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation that’s giving Republican members of Congress an early opportunity to discuss agenda items and issues they want to pursue.

Mr. Duncan is pushing legislation that would, among other things, open up more area in places like the Gulf of Mexico for energy exploration; he said he’s for oil and gas production as well but there are other sources that come into play.

GOP leaders vowed to approve legislation authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline as one of their first acts of the new Congress; Mr. Duncan said he’d pull out a section of his bill that deals with the pipeline if the Senate follows the House’s lead and passes such a bill and Congress is able to override a pledged veto from President Obama.

Mr. Duncan also cautioned that wind energy development is not free because factors like wind turbines and transmission lines have to be considered.

“I like that technology,” he said, but “it’s intermittent — wind doesn’t blow all the time.”

The “sun doesn’t shine all the time. I like the solar technology as well — to harness energy from the sun is really, I think, groovy technology as well,” Mr. Duncan said. 

Mr. Duncan pointed to the western United States where a lot of open space is owned by the federal government. 

“And so if we’re going to expand the availability of land for solar and wind, we need to open up more of that federal land for that type of production as well,” he said.

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