November 1, 2012
While President Obama likes to talk about the job creation and economic potential of renewable energy development on federal lands, his Administration has imposed unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and duplicative regulatory requirements that have made the development of wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal energy more difficult. The United States has some of the most promising areas for renewable energy development in the world. However, despite the enormous potential, the Obama Administration has hindered development of renewable energy on federal lands and waters with conflicting agency decisions, unnecessary delays and unclear regulations.
Although President Obama has always claimed to support increasing renewable energy projects on federal lands, since 2009, the Bureau of Land Management has only made operational one solar project, two wind projects and three geothermal projects out of a combined total of 34 projects.
BLM has instituted the creation of 17 “solar energy zones” (SEZ) on public lands in six western states that could be used for priority development areas for utility-scale projects. Unfortunately, only 19 million of 120 million acres would be available for solar development and of this, only 285,000 acres—or 1% has been identified as SEZ’s.
In March 2012, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued a Memorandum to the Power Marketing Administrators that could increase the cost of hydroelectric power to over 40 million Americans and pursues a top-down, Washington D.C.-knows-best mentality that picks winners and losers for renewable energy generation.
Due to burdensome government red tape, it took the Administration two and a half years on top of an eight year process to approve Cape Wind, the nation’s first offshore wind energy project.
James S. Gordon, President of the Cape Wind Associates, LLC, testified that “the Federal and state regulatory process for offshore renewable energy is thorough and comprehensive, but often not coordinated. One fundamental defect is that it lacks any legal requirements that would limit the duration of the review period. As a result, with no required end point, opponents can use regulatory stalling and delay tactics to try to financially cripple even a project that meets all statutory standards and serves Federal and State policy objectives.”
To learn more about how the Obama Administration has blocked, delayed and hindered American energy production, visit http://naturalresources.house.gov/roadblocks
Part 1: Offshore Drilling
Part 2: Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands
Part 3: War on Coal
Part 4: Alaska
Part 5: Onshore Oil & Natural Gas
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