US Bureau of Land Management Reverses Anti-Solar decision

A few months back the US Bureau of Land Management announced a two year halt to granting permits for solar farm development on federal lands.  The bureau had expressed concern about the possible unknown effects of large footprint solar farms on wildlife in undeveloped areas. 

As an environmentally aware individual, I can certainly appreciate that a little caution is warranted. But the effects of high pollution methods of generating electrical power are far from unknown.  We are in a crisis situation where we need to be exploring every reasonable option. 

The Bureau of Land Management administers more than 250 million acres of land in the US, much of it is perfect for solar farms and wind farms.  We are not talking about carving up Yellowstone, or drilling for oil in pristine tundra.  There is a lot of land in more desolate areas that solar and wind farms can be installed without adversely effecting the natural ecosystem anywhere near the impact of the current dirty methods of power generation.

In response the public reaction tothe moratorium on solar the BLM has reversed it decision and will once again be accepting applications.  The BLM will still be closely monitoring the environmental impact of the new sites. 

In a press release here

“The BLM has a longstanding commitment to advancing renewable energy development,” added Caswell. In 2005 the BLM completed a PEIS for wind energy development on public lands and recently published for public comment a Draft PEIS on geothermal energy development. These efforts and the current solar energy initiative will facilitate opportunities for renewable energy development on the public lands.