Solar Industry Responds to BLM Opening 22 Million Acres of Federal Lands to Solar

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management released a revised environmental review of the Western Solar Plan, also known as the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This new document will govern leasing public lands for solar.

Following is a statement from Ben Norris, vice president of regulatory affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on the developments from BLM:

“Today, the Bureau of Land Management revised a decade-old policy and opened 22 million acres of federal land for responsible solar development. The proposal also identifies 200,000 acres of land near transmission infrastructure, helping to correct an important oversight and streamline solar development.

“Under the current policy, there are at least 80 million acres of federal lands open to oil and gas development, which is 100 times the amount of public land available for solar. BLM’s proposal is a big step in the right direction and recognizes the key role solar plays in our energy economy.

“SEIA has been advocating for changes to the Solar PEIS for over 12 years and appreciates BLM’s extensive efforts to gather stakeholder feedback and make revisions that balance development and conservation. We will continue to urge the Administration to streamline permitting and harness the federal lands portfolio to supercharge job creation, promote energy security, and improve conservation outcomes.”

Courtesy of SEIA.


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