Establishment of Renewable Energy Coordination Offices
United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
May 31, 2022
In Reply Refer To:
2800 (HQ-330) (P)
EMS TRANSMISSION 05/31/2022
Information Bulletin No. 2022-040
To: All Headquarters and Field Officials
Subject: Establishment of Renewable Energy Coordination Offices
This Information Bulletin announces the establishment of Renewable Energy Coordination Offices (RECOs) within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pursuant to the Energy Act of 2020 (Act). The permitting of renewable energy on public lands is critical to America’s transition towards a carbon free electricity sector by 2035 as described under Executive Order 14008. The Department of the Interior (DOI) and the BLM are committed to incorporating a climate-smart approach to permitting and environmental reviews that expediently addresses common issues, eliminates duplication, and identifies enhancements to site and design projects in a way that results in environmentally sound development of renewable energy projects on public lands.
A national renewable energy goal has been set for the BLM to permit 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public land by 2025. Subsequent national goals may be established, in accordance with the Act, by the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and other heads of relevant Federal agencies. Achieving the national goal requires unified leadership and dedicated support across the BLM and its federal partners. In accordance with the Act, the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve Federal agency coordination and streamline reviews for renewable energy projects. The BLM RECOs will leverage the interagency agreement under the MOU to implement improved coordination among agencies, help avoid and resolve potential conflicts and bottlenecks, identify best practices, accelerate information sharing, and promote efficient and timely reviews to support smart agency decision-making.
As described in the MOU, the National RECO within BLM Headquarters (HQ) provides implementation leadership for the Secretary of the Interior’s program to “Improve Public Land Renewable Energy Project Permit Coordination.”
The National RECO will:
- maintain program oversight and effectiveness by providing policy direction and guidance;
- manage organizational funding to the fullest extent possible;
- facilitate resolution of complex or controversial issues related to renewable energy activities when elevated by State or Regional RECOs;
- continue building partnerships to support collaborative and responsible renewable energy deployment; and
- maintain communication and coordination with federal partners; and
- provide annual reports as necessary to Congress.
The State RECOs within BLM Arizona, BLM California, BLM Nevada, and a Regional RECO led by BLM Utah and comprised of personnel within Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, provide specialized expertise to support and prioritize all permitting activities and coordination for renewable energy proposals and authorizations. Each of the State RECOs will support the BLM Field Offices with jurisdiction to issue permits and authorizations by providing staff with specialized technical expertise to facilitate reviews and to coordinate Federal agency reviews for eligible projects.
The BLM State and Regional RECOs will:
- take a leading role in facilitating excellent coordination;
- navigate complex and controversial issues, elevating if necessary;
- develop and support process efficiencies;
- build local partnerships to collaboratively expedite responsible deployment of renewable energy on public lands; and
- support the various aspects of processing priority projects including interagency coordination and maintaining regular coordination with the National RECO.
Where the BLM States do not currently have a dedicated RECO, offices should continue to coordinate with the appropriate State Office program lead. All State Offices should maintain coordination with the National RECO as appropriate on renewable energy related workloads.
Coordination: The BLM National Renewable Energy Coordination Office (HQ-330) and Division of Lands, Realty and Cadastral Survey (HQ-350), have coordinated preparation of this IB with relevant BLM State Offices and The Department of the Interior Office of the Solicitor.
Contact: If you have any questions concerning the content of this IB, please contact Nicholas Douglas, Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management at (970) 256-4944, Jeremy Bluma Acting Deputy Chief, BLM National RECO (HQ-330), at (208) 789-6014 or email@example.com, or Jayme Lopez, Realty Specialist, at (520) 235-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Division of Regulatory Affairs and Directives (HQ-630)