Renewable Energy Must be Smart from the Start - Statement from The Wilderness Society

Jul 13, 2011

Statement of Chase Huntley, Director of Renewable Energy Policy for The Wilderness Society on today’s mark-up in the House Natural Resources Committee

“We agree with the committee’s goal of accelerating development of renewable energy on public lands. But unfortunately the committee today voted to move forward with legislation that is simply not needed, because the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is not the roadblock to development the committee seems to think it is.

"If the committee wants to speed up permitting of renewable energy projects on our public lands, it should support a “Smart from the Start” approach that sites renewable energy in the right places, builds what we need, with the right input from the very beginning.

“These bills are a distraction from what is really needed to promote renewable energy development on public and private lands alike. Time and again, we have heard clearly from industry that siting and permitting is not the real barrier to renewable energy deployment. Rather, it is the on-again off-again nature of critical financing like loan guarantees and refundable tax credits, and the lack of policies like a national renewable energy standard that create market demand for renewable power. This is where Congress should be putting its efforts.”