A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Interior and Energy Sign MOU to Spur Offshore Renewable Energy Projects
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies on the future development of commercial renewable offshore energy projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
“Renewable energy development holds great promise for our clean energy future and our economy,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “This joint framework with DOE will bring together resources and expertise from both agencies as we pursue the environmentally responsible development of these valuable renewable energy resources.”
“We have a major opportunity to tap the energy in waves and offshore wind. Increasing cooperation between our agencies will help make clean, renewable energy a reality," said Secretary Steven Chu.
Together, DOI and DOE will use this agreement to spur the development of future commercial-scale offshore wind and water energy projects. The wind and water resources off the United States' coasts offer a vast yet largely untapped energy potential. According to DOE's 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, offshore wind alone has the potential to produce 54,000 megawatts by 2030. The MOU between DOI and DOE will facilitate the development of these domestic energy resources by pursuing priority leasing and efficient regulatory processes for sites with high, commercial-scale offshore wind and water power development potential.
The two agencies will exchange information on resources and technologies, conduct stakeholder engagements, and collaborate on research projects. These activities will augment the scientific and technical exchanges that already occur between the two Departments. By facilitating the development of offshore clean energy, this agreement will further the Obama Administration's goals of creating clean energy jobs, expanding the nation's renewable energy portfolio and easing America's reliance on fossil fuels.
The MOU states that within 30 days of its signing, an interagency working group will develop an Action Plan covering the following areas:
• Development of attainable deployment goals for offshore wind and marine and hydrokinetic energy on the OCS