President Barack Obama is expected to announce plans to reduce global warming emissions through an array of initiatives, including doubling our nation’s renewable energy goals and implementing energy efficiency programs that would reduce the dependence on our public lands for energy development. Our shared public lands will play a critical role in meeting the climate challenge by providing resilient habitats for wildlife and water resources while creating wildland buffers for our growing communities.
The following statement is from Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society:
“For our lands to continue providing clean air and water to protect public health we must ensure that large areas of land remain intact and free from energy development. We know we can have both—conservation and renewable energy—when we do it right. Doing it right includes ensuring that as we double our nation’s renewable energy goals we also look at the appropriate places for building new wind and solar projects. Obama’s plan to increase renewable energy production means we must be smart about where and how we build new projects.
This means guiding development to places with the least amount of conflict while protecting our most special places, the very lands that will aid in our country’s climate saving efforts.
The Wilderness Society’s renewable energy blueprint outlines strategies the administration can adopt to develop a strong and smart renewable energy program. When you combine that with efforts to mitigate the impacts of renewable energy and build-out America’s transmission lines to get power to the places that need it most, we will see America truly move toward a clean energy future.
Our public lands are one of America’s greatest treasures. Not only because of the opportunities they provide our families for recreation and learning, but also for the resource they can be in helping address America’s climate challenges. We must ready our lands for the role they will play in the future by ensuring we are balancing conservation with our country’s energy needs.”