The wind energy industry accused the Obama administration on Friday of penalizing it with a new 11th-hour plan to build solar and wind power plants on federal lands.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management issued its final land-leasing plan Thursday to make it easier to build renewables on public lands. The plan was five years in the making and part of President Obama’s goal of doubling wind and solar resources under his broad climate change agenda.

The plan, which is actually a broad set of regulations, establishes renewable energy development zones across large segments of public land in the West to make it easier to site big solar and wind projects, while providing incentives to attract industry. But the wind energy industry’s lead trade group in Washington has a much different opinion of what the rule actually does.

“This rule will only serve to further discourage wind development on public lands, contrary to BLM’s stated intent,” said Tom Vinson, vice president for regulatory affairs at the American Wind Energy Association.

“The rule penalizes projects pursued outside of designated zones, yet there are no designated zones for wind energy and there may not be for years,” Vinson explained. “This discriminatory treatment places wind energy at a competitive disadvantage to energy sources that have such areas designated and can avail themselves of the incentives to develop in these areas.”

The new solar and wind-leasing rule “will add time, uncertainty, complexity and expense to a process that was already more difficult than developing on private lands,” he said in a Friday statement.

The solar energy industry, on the other hand, said it was still reviewing the plan, and had nothing substantive to say, yet, on the final rule.

“We have not had a chance to fully review it, but we hope this rule paves the way for increased solar development at predictable rates on public lands,” said Christopher Mansour, vice president of federal affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“BLM-managed land includes some of the world’s best solar resources, and they should be used to deliver clean, reliable and cost-effective solar power to customers.”

Trump: Bill Clinton called, said my 2016 run was 'amazing'

Also from the Washington Examiner

“He couldn’t have been more gracious,” Trump said of the former president.

11/11/16 8:21 PM

The rule is one of the last major environmental rule-makings on energy that the administration will take before President Obama steps down on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence to replace Chris Christie as head of Trump transition team

Top Story

Christie will shift from leader of the transition team to a vice chair alongside Rudy Giuliani.

11/11/16 2:21 PM

Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply