Washington, D.C. — The Trump administration’s hostility toward renewable energy development is reflected in policies that have cost the sector jobs, stunted growth, and impeded the nation’s ability to tackle climate change, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.
Nowhere is this dynamic more apparent than at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has attempted to grant swift relief to an already-struggling oil and gas industry during the coronavirus crisis but has made no similar overtures to the renewable energy industry operating on the same public lands and waters.
The report shows how the administration—both before and during the pandemic—has stymied the advancement of responsibly sited wind and solar energy projects on public lands and waters. It has approved fewer renewable energy projects than the Obama administration had at the same point during its first term; eliminated the Bureau of Land Management’s renewable energy permitting office and its staff; scrapped landscape-level renewable energy development plans; slowed and stopped competitive renewable energy lease sales; and given priority access to oil and gas industry lobbyists at the expense of renewable energy interests.
“At a time when the nation’s leaders should be working to address climate change and rebuild a just economy that will serve all families, the Trump administration has, instead, actively undermined progress of solar and wind energy development, particularly on public lands and waters,” said Nicole Gentile, deputy director for Public Lands at CAP and co-author of the report.
CAP’s analysis grades the Trump administration’s performance in five categories that are critical to advancing renewable energy on public lands and waters, including approving responsibly sited wind and solar projects, holding competitive lease sales, landscape-level planning, staffing, and access to high-level officials.
The report offers recommendations for how an administration could jumpstart the renewable energy program at the Interior Department to advance a clean energy future that climate science demands.
Read the report: “How the Trump Administration Is Stifling Renewable Energy Development on Public Lands and Waters” by Nicole Gentile and Kate Kelly.
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Ari Drennen at gro.ssergorpnacirema@nennerdz.