Federal legislation that would have 20 percent of the nation\u2019s energy come from geysers and other geothermal resources was both lauded and slammed during a September 26 hearing. The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources debated the measure, S 1543 by committee chair Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), which requires steady funding for geothermal research to ensure that geothermal power supplies one-fifth of the nation\u2019s heat and electricity by 2030. The bill provides $75 million in research funds in 2008, and $110 million annually from 2009-2012. \u201cThis is one of the most promising forms of energy,\u201d said Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana). He and others noted that geothermal power is domestic and its production relatively clean, helping lower greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. Olafur Grimsson, president of Iceland--a country with geothermal development--told the committee that geothermal power is 30 percent more profitable than other sources of renewable energy. \u201cThe U.S. has an opportunity to build geothermal in a major way,\u201d he said. \u201cGeothermal is not only reliable, but secure, cost-effective, and is very good business.\u201d Bingaman pointed to a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology Report that found that about 90 GW of power--50 GW from coal fired plants--will need to be replaced in the next 15-25 years. \u201cAs a result, there is an even greater need for reliable, low-cost electric power and heat supply for the nation,\u201d he said. Opponents of the bill cited potential high costs of new geothermal development and fears that investment could cut into funding for other energy projects. \u201cIt is overly exuberant,\u201d said Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) of the legislation. The Department of Energy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner said the legislation\u2019s goal of 165 GW of geothermal supplies was unattainable in its 23-year time frame. According to a recent report by an Icelandic bank, which is funding geothermal projects in the U.S., 20 percent of California\u2019s energy could be supplied by geothermal power. Up to 60 percent of Nevada\u2019s power could come from geothermal supplies, predicted the lender, Glitnir. A financing deal by Glitnir for more than $10 million to provide geothermal energy to Pacific Gas & Electric is in the works. PG&E and Iceland Energy America reached a renewable deal in July 2006 for 169 MW. IEA is responsible for financing the geothermal project, and the utility will buy the output from IEA. Other recent Glitnir financing deals include a $23 million financing round for ThermaSource in Santa Rosa and a $20 million debt financing round to help Nevada Geothermal Power conduct drilling operations Glitner predicted that by 2025, there would be $40 billion in industry-wide financing for geothermal energy projects in North America.