This Week at Interior January 20, 2023


This Week at Interior  

Secretary Haaland joined Vice President Kamala Harris, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi and leaders from the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona office this week to celebrate the groundbreaking of Ten West Link. That's a new 500 kilovolt high voltage transmission line that will add significant new power to the grid, connecting Southern California and Central Arizona. It's all part of the effort to lower energy costs, modernize America’s power infrastructure, and create good-paying union jobs in the West, by permitting at least 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands by 2025. 

Interior this week transferred regulations governing offshore renewable energy activities from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. The transfer advances regulatory clarity and transparency for the offshore wind industry to ensure future clean energy development and operations continue to occur in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. 

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo wrapped up a multi-day visit to Colorado where she toured a water treatment facility and spoke at the Four States Irrigation Council Annual Meeting, highlighting investments in drought reduction from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. Combined, these two initiatives represent the largest investments in climate resilience in the nation’s history. 

Joshua Tree National Park announced a new agreement this week with the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. This allows for continued cooperation and a path toward shared stewardship of park resources when it comes to establishing trails originating on Tribal land; mutual aid to support law enforcement, fire, search and rescue; and other areas of mutual interest. 

The U.S. Geological Survey is testing a new way of accessing data and samples to better understand subsurface conditions from across the entire country. The National Index of Borehole Information will allow natural-resource managers, industry and researchers looking for critical-mineral potential, studying climate conditions, or tracking groundwater quality to discover the information through a single portal. 

And our social media Picture of Week is from Fisher Towers National Recreational Trail. The Utah trail winds for 2.2 miles around the base of Fisher Towers and as it climbs it offers some of the most expansive and striking views of the Colorado River basin, including Castle Rock, Castle Valley and the Bookcliffs. 

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This Week: Secretary Haaland takes part in a groundbreaking event for Ten West Link, a new high voltage transmission line connecting Southern California and Central Arizona; responsibilities governing offshore renewable energy activities transfer from BOEM to BSEE; Interior leaders highlight investments in drought reduction; Joshua Tree National Park announces a new agreement to share resources with the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians; USGS tests a new way to access subsurface data across the entire country; and we hit the trail in Utah to find our social media Picture of the Week!