Both President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown have set high targets for renewable energy. The President calls for doubling renewable energy production in three years. The Governor has signed a bill setting a target for California's utilities to generate one third of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is playing a key role in achieving these goals. Many of the state's wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass resources can be found on BLM-managed public lands. The BLM allows access to these lands for renewable energy development, helping California reach a secure and reliable energy future.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed an order in March 2009 making renewable energy production a top priority for the Department and the BLM. He also signed an order in November 2009 establishing the Renewable Energy Action Team, or REAT, comprised of BLM, California Department of Fish and Game, the California Energy Commission, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Planning for a Clean Energy Future
The BLM is partnering with its fellow REAT agencies to develop a Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) for California. The plan will identify low conflict areas for renewable energy that will benefit from an easier permitting process. The plan will also set aside important conservation and recreation areas. The DRECP's end result will be a roadmap for where development should occur in the desert to ensure California can meet its renewable energy goals with the least environmental harm.
The BLM is also planning for renewable energy in the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area.