The Right Places for Solar


The Chronicle ("Green vs. pristine," Editorial, Jan. 25) is on target when it notes that Sen. Dianne Feinstein's legislation strikes an appropriate balance between protecting the California desert and promoting renewable energy.

Bureau of Land Management has already identified over 350,000 acres of potential solar sites in the desert and is moving forward expeditiously with nine solar projects on approximately 50,000 acres of public lands. None would be affected by Feinstein's bill.

The Chronicle asserts that more should be done to direct developers to the right places. In fact, the federal process referenced above and the state's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan are doing just that. These efforts will identify least-conflict areas for renewable energy development on public and private land.

By thoughtfully identifying and prioritizing appropriate development areas, private and public time and resources can be directed toward the projects most likely to move forward quickly and successfully. And if we focus on the right places, we can ensure that renewable energy is developed without compromising environmental values.