For over 75 years The Wilderness Society has sought out protections for public lands across the country. Our efforts have kept threats, including irresponsible energy development, from harming the places we all hold dear. Now our team faces a new challenge—finding places that are suitable for renewable energy development. This has proven to be a tough path, but we understand a key element in the fight against global climate change is how we produce and conserve energy.
It’s great that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been focusing a lot of attention on solar and wind development on public lands, even to the point that the DOI’s web site is sporting images of wind turbines and solar panels. This attention to renewable energy is very welcome to those of us who work closely with government agencies to protect wild places from the impacts of drilling and climate change, but there are a couple critical pieces of the renewable energy puzzle that we need to make sure the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management focus on.
Often times the National Journal’s Energy and Environment blog host forums for experts to post their opinions on topics making the news as of late. Bill Meadows, The Wilderness Society’s President, appreciates these opportunities to engage with others.
Often times the National Journal’s Energy and Environment blog host forums for experts to post their opinions on topics making the news as of late. Bill Meadows, The Wilderness Society’s President, appreciates these opportunities to engage with others. This week he joined the conversation being hosted by reporter Amy Harder about renewable energy.
Earlier this month, President of the American Petroleum Institute (API) Jack Gerard sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stating his “concern” with the fact that the Department of the Interior is using some of its stimulus money to fast-track the permitting process for 32 renewable energy projects that will be shovel-ready by December 2010.
Unlike conventional energy production, we don't have to raze mountaintops or drill into our national wildlife refuges to access energy provided by the sun. Huge swaths of the Southwest receive enough sun to power utility-scale solar energy projects. Not only does solar energy not run out: it also runs wide.
In fact, in the Southwestern United States alone, the sun provides enough energy to power our country 6 times over!