Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President Rhone Resch released the following statement on BLM’s announcement that it would lift its moratorium on solar energy applications on federal lands.
“The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement that it has lifted its moratorium on solar energy applications on federal lands is the right decision. While we applaud today’s announcement, BLM has only resolved half the problem. They have yet to approve a single solar energy project. Expediting the permitting process is the next step in developing solar energy projects on federal lands.
“While we recognize and encourage BLM assessment of energy projects on federal lands, we were dismayed that BLM singled out solar energy for a moratorium. Solar is a clean, renewable energy that can bring electricity to millions of homes. According to the BLM’s own estimates, more than 20 million American homes could be powered by the 130 projects currently stalled at the agency.
“We are happy to see that BLM will continue to process solar applications. With consumers facing rapidly increasing energy costs, the United States cannot afford to delay solar projects any longer.
“Today’s decision is a victory for the U.S. solar industry. We now look forward to working with BLM to begin processing the applications that they are already behind on.”
“U.S. solar energy industry blasts government move”
Reuters – July 1
“Leaders in the U.S. solar energy industry blasted the U.S. government on Monday for a freeze on applications for new solar projects on public land in six Western states.”
“Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects”
New York Times – June 27
“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.”
“Freezing the Sun”
The Economist – June 26
“Further dampening hopes for a big solar-energy boom, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has abruptly slapped a moratorium on new applications to put solar collectors on federal land. The agency says it has a backlog of more than 130 applications and needs to conduct a region-wide environmental-impact study on the industry before it will accept any more.”
Federal Register with BLM Decision: