Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary
|For Immediate Release:October 31, 2003
WASHINGTON-Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced today that as part of ongoing efforts to implement the President's National Energy Policy and increase the use of renewable and alternative energy sources, the Bureau of Land Management has scheduled 10 public scoping meetings in five western states to gain input on the development of wind energy.
"The current contribution of wind energy resources to America's total electricity supply is relatively small, but there is tremendous potential for growth," said Norton. "The wind energy program we are initiating will help America realize that potential."
Increasing America's use of renewable and alternative energy is a part of the President's National Policy. Renewable and alternative energy supplies will help to diversify the country's energy portfolio with little or no environmental impacts. "Tapping into and using the abundant, naturally occurring sources of energy such as the sun, the wind, geothermal heat and biomass will help to reduce our reliance on foreign imports and reduce some of our dependency on fossil fuels," Norton said.
The public scoping process is the first step in the development of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), which the BLM announced in a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register of October 17, 2003. An official web site for the Wind Energy PEIS is online at windeis.anl.gov.
The PEIS will evaluate issues
associated with increased development of wind energy and consider them
in land-use plans throughout the western region. Preparation of the
PEIS is a multi-step process that will take about 24 months to complete
and will include publication of a draft PEIS, a final PEIS and a Record
November 3, 2003 - Sacramento,
November 5, 2003 - Salt
Lake City, Utah
November 12, 2003 - Cheyenne,
November 18, 2003 - Las
November 20, 2003 - Boise,
"The participation of citizens and the local communities are vital to this process," Norton said. "I encourage everyone to attend these meetings and get their views and concerns heard."
The Interior Department manages one in every five acres of land in the United States and produce about 30 percent of the nation's energy supply. Approximately, one-third of the country's natural gas, coal, and oil, one-half of geothermal, 17 percent of hydropower and 20 percent of wind power are produced in areas managed by the Interior Department.
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