BLM Freezes New Solar Development for Two Years
The Bureau of Land Management has placed a two year moratorium on new solar power projects proposed for building on public lands.
Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.
The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
Now, this won’t affect any pending proposal–apparently there are about 130 in the works. But at least on face, this ban doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense. It seems to me that there isn’t any reason why the BLM couldn’t study the environmental impacts of solar power while still allowing new proposals–as new information is gathered, the EIR’s for new projects could just be changed accordingly. At a time when we’re giving due consideration to opening up new oil and gas projects on public lands, a freeze on solar power seems counterproductive.