Smart Steps to Establish a Responsible Program for Renewable Energy on Public Lands
Since its first day in office, the Obama Administration has made rapid and responsible expansion of renewable energy a top priority. The public lands have played a major role in achieving early goals, but only because of focused effort to correct decades of inattention and inactivity toward developing renewable energy as a major component of the nation’s energy mix.
Before 2009, there had been no organized effort to leverage the abundant wind, solar, and geothermal renewable energy resources on public lands to power the economy and to support the growing renewable energy industry. In the Obama Administration’s first term, the Department of the Interior (Department) and its Bureau of Land Management (BLM) stood up a sensible renewable energy program for our public lands. For example, the BLM has made substantial progress in working through a large queue of backlogged applications inherited from the previous administration. More than 30 projects were permitted for more than 10,000 megawatts of new renewable power. These projects are creating jobs, driving innovation, and will help supply Western markets with clean, renewable power for decades to come.
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