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Ken Salazar pushes renewable energy "on steroids"

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Ken Salazar.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced federal approval of four large renewable energy projects in the West today, touting the new jobs and clean power that those projects and others in the pipeline will bring -- and described his department's approach to renewables as so aggressive that it's "on steroids.

"These are real projects," he enthused. "They create real jobs."

In a teleconference with journalists, Salazar touted development of renewable energy on public lands as "one of the highest priorities at Interior for the last two-and-a-half years." The Obama administration has already greenlighted dozens of renewable projects, including nine solar facilities in Nevada and California. The four latest projects, in Oregon and California, include two solar installations, one wind farm and a transmission line. Collectively, they are expected to generate 1300 construction jobs and provide 550 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power up to 380,000 homes.

Three of the four projects are actually located on private lands; they require Interior approval because their transmission lines cross federal land. At the same time, Salazar acknowledged that the implementation of a major environmental assessment of public-land solar developments in six states (including Colorado) was being delayed as his team takes additional time to review more than 80,000 comments on the proposal.

"We want to get this right," he said. "We want to be smart from the start."

The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development, or Solar PEIS, seeks to designate "solar energy zones" in which projects could be fast-tracked for development -- "cutting red tape without cutting corners," as the Secretary put it. But first the agency wants to release a supplement to the vast study (currently weighing in at 11,000 pages) in order to further refine its analysis of environmental and efficiency issues raised by the prospect of building huge solar collection fields on Bureau of Land Management lands across the West.

For more on how those issues are playing out in the heartland -- including concerns about environmental damage, hooking up to the grid, the substantial energy loss in transmission from rural generators to urban consumers -- check out how locals have reacted to Salazar's plan to turn the San Luis Valley into one of those energy zones. A transcript of comments from a public meeting held in Alamosa last spring can be found here.

More from our Politics archive: "Ken Salazar's salary at center of David Vitter ethics complaint, CREW tells Keith Olbermann."

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10 comments
Ramjam267
Ramjam267

I'm all for renewable energy, I have 100 acres full southern rxposure in colorado if you know an entity interested kn developing please contact me. Rick James 9709874752

Kicklibsout
Kicklibsout

What a scammer.  It take one million acres of windmills to equal the output of one average offshore oil platform.

Robert
Robert

Colorado should pursue thorium-based reactor designs.  I am all for selective subsidization of photovoltaic power to drive the development of this technology, but renewable energy is generally not cost-competitive with coal or natural gas.  The power density of sunlight (~1KW/m^2) is low enough that it requires an enormous area gathering sunlight, and this contributes to the high cost of solar energy (in the context of commercial power-generation).  Biomass is limited by the same fundamental constraint, and using it for fuel diverts it from use as food (by creatures from humans to microorganisms).  Even new uranium-based reactors are more efficient and have a high degree of intrinsic safety.  Anyone who is concerned that the enormous anthopogenic increase in atmospheric and oceanic carbon dioxide may have dire effects on climate had better hope that nuclear technology can be improved over that used fifty years ago, because it is the only source of energy with any prospect of providing enough energy at an affordable cost without producing more carbon dioxide.  While people who imagine themselves green perish even the thought that we should develop new nuclear technology, our fossil-fuel addicted government has given a green light to the use of fracking shale formations for natural gas, which causes the uncontrolled release of vast amounts of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere in addition to more carbon dioxide.

Dan Friend
Dan Friend

http://www.commondreams.org/ne...

Give this Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) a read.  It's informative as to just how much the "green" government plans to cut corners (and wetlands, marshlands, etc.)  We need to double check everything that Mr. Salazar says. 

Robert
Robert

The people involved in keeping the US addicted to fossil fuels are scammers and far worse.  The fossil fuel industry must be nationalized and then wound down as soon as practicable.  We can get where we need to go and have electric power without poisoning the planet or our drinking water.

Eric
Eric

Actualy, it doesn't.

Sources?

Didn't think so.

Kicklibsout
Kicklibsout

Actually, it's a good estimate according to energy experts writing for the AAPG.

Know what that is?

Didn't think so.

Eric
Eric

I'm well aware of the "AAPG".

Thanks for making my point.

I'm not sure when it was, but maybe 2 or 3 years ago the AAPG finally................FINALLY admitted the existence of human contribution to climate change. Even at that, in spite of the fact that over 60% of their members believe human contribution to climate change is significant, these prostitutes still say, as a representation of PAYING MEMBERS that there is debate as to what "significant" is.

Another astroturf, paid for opinion by prostitutes with no regard for their childrens' best interest or the standing position of it's members.

Thanks for playing, you can sit down now.

Kicklibsout
Kicklibsout

You can also Google "one million acres of windmills".

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