Congressional coalition recognizes significant improvements in Interior Department's renewable energy program

Recently, the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), a group of strong renewable energy champions in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The letter spoke to an issue that many of us in the environmental community have been working on for years- The Obama administration, and specifically the Department of Interior, has done amazing, yet unrecognized, work in balancing the need for increased renewable energy while protecting public lands that could be tarnished by energy development.

SEEC recognizes the importance that renewable and sustainable energy will play in our nation’s future. Our public lands have always played a role in energy development, and renewable energy will not be different. However, it is important that our need for new sources of energy is balanced with land conservation and wildlife preservation. The Department of Interior (DOI) and Secretary Salazar have taken great strides to move the department to find that critical balance. By bringing together industry, conservation groups, and other stakeholders, DOI has made sure that there are reliable steps that take into account all facets and the multiple uses of the lands they manage.

Due to the work of Secretary Salazar and his team, America has seen doubled renewable energy generation in just four years. More than 10,000 megawatts of solar, wind and geothermal energy—enough electricity to power more than 3.5 million homes—have been permitted on public lands. This process has made sure that we have a smart approach towards energy, instead of a haphazard one that could imperil land, water and wildlife.

SEEC’s letter shows that Congress has been paying attention to the important behind the scenes work that our government is doing. Not all of our clean energy agenda has seen the success as the ones outlined in the letter, but what has been accomplished has been truly historic. It is good to see that our energy champions in the House of Representatives have acknowledged this.

A big thank you to the Department of Interior for their work, and kudos to SEEC, and the signatories on the letter, for recognizing a job well done.


The SECC press release includes the full language of the letter.