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June 27, 2011
In Reply Refer To:
1200 (300) P
Information Bulletin No. 2011-072
To:                   All Washington Office and Field Office Officials
From:               Deputy Director, Operations
Subject:           Establishment of the National Renewable Energy Coordination Office
This Information Bulletin announces the establishment of the National Renewable Energy Coordination Office (RECO) within the Minerals and Realty Management Directorate
Both the President and the Secretary have set a nationwide goal of increasing energy production from renewable energy resources in the United States. The President’s “New Energy for America” plan establishes a goal to generate 10 percent of the Nation’s electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2012 and 25 percent by the year 2025. The BLM is well positioned to help answer this call to increase production of energy from our Nation’s own renewable energy resources and make a significant contribution to this effort. In March 2009, the Secretary of the Interior issued Secretarial Order 3285 making the production, development, and delivery of renewable energy a priority for the BLM as part of a balanced energy development strategy.
The BLM has achieved tremendous success in permitting renewable energy projects over the last 2 years in the implementation of the Secretarial Order 3285. This success was the result of hard work at all levels of the organization, from the field offices, the state offices, the Washington Office, and the Department.  To ensure the long-term sustainability of the renewable energy program, the BLM now will institutionalize the program within the Bureau’s organizational and program structures. Within the Washington Office, this requires integrating renewable energy into the existing WO-300 directorate.
The Washington Office will continue to provide program and policy direction and oversight in our continuing efforts to provide opportunities for renewable energy development on public lands.  Specifically, a permanent organization will facilitate a number of pressing program development needs:  
1.      Communication – Continue developing internal coordination and communication protocols that support necessary information flow between all levels of the organization. This includes clearly defined communication protocols for data requests, conference calls, and meetings to eliminate redundant efforts. 
2.      Organization and Staffing – Continue efforts to address the staffing needs in order to respond to current and projected workloads. Strategic planning is required to sustain staffing capabilities for the future. 
3.      Policy Priorities – A number of policy issues warrant immediate attention to ensure the continued success and development of the renewable energy program, such as:
a.      Due diligence and bonding guidelines;         
b.      Production verification/compliance protocols;
c.      Monitoring to ensure effectiveness of mitigation activities; and
d.      Rental adjustments for wind and solar energy authorizations to ensure consistency of revenue methodologies.
4.      Program Funding – Program funding continues to be tenuous, highly dependent on cost recovery, and impacted by the lack of long-term geothermal funding sources. These needs call for exploring other avenues to ensure funding to support the renewable energy programs.
5.      Coordination – The National RECO organization will ensure coordination of the BLM renewable energy program within the BLM Washington Office and with other Federal agencies / offices. This includes coordination with the BLM Legislative Affairs staff and congressional staffers, the Solicitor’s Office, and the Department Renewable Energy Working Group. 
The BLM will also expand its monitoring, inspection, and compliance program to ensure approved projects achieve the appropriate mitigation and fulfill the terms of the authorizations. 
The National RECO staff will consist of permanent and term positions that include a chief and program leads for wind, solar, and geothermal. 
Please feel free to contact Michael D. Nedd, Assistant Director for Minerals and Realty Management, 202-208-4201, regarding any questions on the establishment of the National Renewable Energy Coordination Office. 
I look forward to your continued support and assistance in meeting our renewable energy goals and responding to the priorities of environmentally responsible renewable energy development as part of a balanced energy development strategy on the public lands.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Mike Pool                                                                     Robert M. Williams
Deputy Director, Operations                                        Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Last updated: 07-01-2011