Comprehensive Blueprint to Guide Responsible Renewable Energy Development, Conserve Key Landscapes
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird today released an innovative landscape-level draft renewable energy and conservation plan covering more than 22 million acres in the California desert, marking a major milestone in federal and state efforts to cut carbon pollution, create jobs, develop clean domestic energy and conserve and protect ecological and cultural resources.
The public comment period will run through January 9, 2015. A recorded informational webinar to help the public navigate the DRECP documents will be available on Friday, September 26 at www.drecp.org and will be broadcast on October 9, 2014, at BLM, FWS and CDFW offices throughout the DRECP planning area. Formal public meetings will be held in late October and early November throughout the DRECP planning area and surrounding population centers. Future meetings will be announced at www.drecp.org. For instructions on how to submit written comments, view informational webinars, see meeting details and to sign up to receive email notifications, please visit www.drecp.org. Comments may also be submitted in person at the aforementioned public meetings.
The President's Climate Action Plan outlines a wide array of actions his administration is taking using existing authorities to reduce carbon pollution, increase energy efficiency, expand renewable and other low-carbon energy sources and strengthen resilience to extreme weather and other climate impacts. As part of the plan, announced in June 2013, the president directed the Interior Department to approve at least 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity on the public lands by 2020.
Interior has permitted 52 utility-scale renewable energy projects since 2009 as part of a Department-wide effort to advance smart development of renewable energy on our nation's public lands. Together, the wind, solar and geothermal projects could support more than 20,000 construction and operations jobs and generate about 14,157 megawatts of power to communities across the West, or enough to power nearly 4.8 million homes. Seventeen of these renewable energy projects have been approved in the DRECP planning area which could generate about 4,800 megawatts, or enough to power more than 1.5 million homes.
The DRECP planning effort was also called out as an early ‘Sign of Progress' in the Department of the Interior's strategy for advancing landscape-scale mitigation policies and practices. That strategy, released in April 2014, describes the key principles and actions necessary to shift from project-by-project management to consistent landscape-scale, science-based management of the lands and resources for which the Interior Department is responsible.