Comments on BLM Solar Energy Study Areas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

These comments were submitted by The Wilderness Society and our partner groups to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on September 14, 2009, on the Solar Energy Study Areas (SESAs) proposed by the agency as part of its Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy development.

The Wilderness Society supports the concept of identifying SESAs and, through the PEIS process, refining them for ultimate designation as Solar Energy Zones which are the most appropriate locations for large-scale solar energy development on public lands. Designation and environmental analysis of zones for large-scale solar projects is an important step towards moving forward with well-sited, responsible solar projects while preventing the devastating impacts to our wildest lands that have occurred as a result of poorly-planned and unmitigated oil and gas development.

We intend to continue working with the BLM as the agency completes the solar energy PEIS to ensure that the many values of our public lands are protected, while setting a clear path forward for responsible solar energy projects that can help us transition to a clean energy future.