The Wilderness Society applauds new study on smarter transmission planning for renewable energy

May 20, 2016
Daniel Hoherd, flickr

Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service and Department of Energy published a study detailing how the West-wide Energy Corridors (WWEC) for transmission lines and pipelines are being used. The agency also announced a strategy for improving the WWEC through Regional Reviews.

In response, The Wilderness Society issues the following statement:

“BLM’s plans to improve the West-wide Energy Corridors should allow better access to renewable energy resources while protecting sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitat,” said Alex Daue, The Wilderness Society’s assistant director for energy and climate. 

“A smart system of transmission corridors is crucial for meeting our clean energy goals in a responsible way.

“We hope the agencies will use this opportunity to engage with stakeholders and develop recommendations to consider new corridors to support renewables where appropriate, and adjust or eliminate high-conflict corridors through sensitive areas.

“BLM should also ensure that major transmission projects actually use any existing corridors that have been designated along existing highways and transmission lines. Unfortunately, BLM’s plans for the Gateway South transmission line, announced last week, propose to cut through remote wildlands in northwest Colorado instead of using a designated low-conflict corridor.

“We appreciate BLM’s study acknowledging many of our concerns to date have been justified and look forward to working together to ensure that BLM and the Forest Service limit and offset environmental impacts and facilitate responsible renewable energy development in ongoing planning for energy corridors and transmission lines.”

More information, including a factsheet, maps and links to BLM resources, is available on The Wilderness Society’s website.

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The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. http://www.wilderness.org.

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