California Desert Plan Balances Wildlife Conservation, Renewable Energy Development
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan released late last month by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the California Department of Natural Resources identifies millions of acres in southeastern California for renewable energy development and millions more for conservation, KPCC reports.
“The 8,000-page plan aims to open the door for more renewable energy in a state that wants to get 33% of its power from those sources by 2020,” according to the station’s AirTalk program “At the same time, the plan addresses the concerns of some environmentalists by conserving fragile desert habitat for a number of plants and animals.”
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The plan could help “guide renewable energy development to areas with low environmental and wildlife risk, high energy potential, and close proximity to necessary infrastructure like transmission,” writes NRDC’s Helen O’Shea. It could also “become a model for how federal, state, and local agencies can work together…and how those collaborations are better overall for everyone involved.”