In less than seven years of the Obama administration, an unprecedented collaboration between private-sector innovators, federal policymakers, and forward-thinking stakeholders has sparked a renewable energy revolution on America’s public lands and waters. Whereas coal, oil, gas, and hydropower resources on taxpayer-owned public lands have been the primary focus for both developers and regulators for much of the past century, the Obama administration has, for the first time, facilitated the permitting and construction of large-scale solar, wind, and geothermal projects that are delivering clean, affordable power to American communities.
With the United States emerging as a global leader in the shift to low-carbon fuel sources, and with projections of rapid growth in renewable energy demand over the next several decades, now is the time to assess how the federal government can build on its successful renewable energy programs on America’s public lands. Specifically, how can the Department of the Interior and other federal land management agencies cement recent gains and further accelerate responsible renewable energy development on the nation’s public lands and waters?
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