Renewable Energy Development to be a "Top Priority" for Department of Interior

nevada dunes winter photo

29 million acres of land in the Southwest under Department of Interior management have been identified as having good solar power potential. Photo: Rick Cooper via flickr

While I'm not so sure his head's in the right place when it comes to oil shale, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar certainly has been supportive of renewable energy. The latest announcement on the matter confirms that viewpoint: Yesterday Salazar issued a Secretarial Order to make production, development and delivery of renewable energy a "top priority" for his department:

More so than ever, with job losses continuing to mount, we need to steer the country onto a new energy path. One that creates new jobs and puts America out front in new, growing industries, one that promotes investment and innovation here at home and one that makes wise use of our domestic resources.

We will assign a high priority to identifying renewable energy zones and completing the permitting and appropriate environmental review of transmission rights-of-way applications that are necessary to deliver renewable energy generation to consumers. We have to connect the sun of the deserts and the wind of the plains with the places where people live.

ken salazar secretarial order signing photo

Yes, that's the Secretarial Order being signed by Ken Salazar... photo: DoI

Part of this shift will be the development of a list of specific zone where the Department of Interior can facilitate "a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy."

One-Fifth of US Land Under Interior Management
The Department of Interior manages about one-fifth of the US landmass and over 1.7 billion acres offshore. 21 million acres of that landmass has been identified as having wind energy potential, 29 million acres with good solar energy potential, 140 million acres (in Alaska) with geothermal potential.

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