Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Senior Fellow David J. Hayes released the following statement today about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s release of the final Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which will help balance renewable energy development and conservation on approximately 10 million acres of public lands in California.
The Interior Department today laid out a management framework that will guide public use of 10 million acres of public lands in the harsh and magical beauty of the California desert. The plan protects millions of sensitive acres from development while welcoming renewable energy development in areas that make sense. Hats off to the Bureau of Land Management and its partners in California that, after participating in a vigorous public process, have laid out a plan that honors conservation imperatives while providing new opportunities for Californians to increase renewable energy production in sun-rich Southern California. In the past, little planning like this has been done, leaving the nation’s public lands open to abuse. The Obama administration’s focus on landscape-level planning—as well as Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D-CA) parallel commitment to pursue innovative efforts such as the state-led Least-Conflict Lands Project in order to assist the siting of renewable energy projects in the San Joaquin Valley—is the smart way to do the peoples’ business on public lands.
A 4-Point Plan for Responsibly Expanding Renewable Energy Production on America’s Public Lands and Oceans by David J. Hayes and Nidhi Thakar
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