House Members Applaud Secretary Salazar for Renewable Energy Development

Dec 5, 2012 Issues: Climate Change, Energy, Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday, 23 members of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to thank him for his leadership and vision in promoting the development of renewable energy on public lands.

The Department of the Interior plays a crucial role in advancing energy production through its management of public lands.  Interior manages a sizeable portion of federal lands and has pursued several key policies that advance our nation toward a renewable energy future.  Due in large part to these efforts by the Interior Department, the Obama administration has accomplished more than any other by doubling renewable energy generation in four years.

The full text of the letter is below:

December 4, 2012

Secretary Ken Salazar
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar,

We write to thank you for your leadership in furthering the development of renewable energy on public lands.  As members of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), we strongly support growing our nation’s renewable energy capacity and believe our public lands play a key role in doing so as our country moves from a fossil fuel based economy to one that is cleaner and sustainable.

Many of your Department’s innovative energy developments have not received their deserved praise, but that does not diminish their importance.  The Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement finalized in October was a crucial milestone toward realizing a solar energy future that balances environmental protection and clean energy development.  Working with conservation groups, industry, and other stakeholders has yielded consensus around renewable energy on public lands and is a testament to the approach taken by the Department of Interior.  Some of the other important steps:

  • Issued Secretarial Order No. 3285, which rectifies a decade of inattention and inactivity by making renewable energy a priority for our public lands.
  • Permitted more than 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy on public lands and waters.
  • Established a comprehensive program for advancing off-shore wind energy production in federal waters, which plans around important ocean resources and has already resulted in leases and proposed lease auctions for several gigawatts worth of development.

This administration has accomplished more than any other by doubling renewable energy generation in four short years.  The Department of the Interior has been integral to that accomplishment.  So far more than 10,000 megawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal have been permitted on public lands, exceeding a Congressionally-set target two years ahead of schedule.  It is because of the work and advocacy of your Department in establishing a robust policy framework that our nation advances closer to a renewable energy future.

SEEC supports responsible development of renewable energy on public lands.  We thank you again for your critical efforts in this area and look forward to continuing to work with you during President Obama’s second term.

Sincerely,

The Members of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition

 

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