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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2008
Washington, D.C.--The Bureau of Land Management today announced that it was reversing its decision to impose a 22-month moratorium on new applications for solar energy development on public lands in six Western states.
Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director
"We welcome the BLM's decision to continue accepting new applications for solar development. Just like any other kind of project, the Sierra Club strongly believes that renewable energy projects need to undergo proper environmental reviews. Many areas of our public lands are simply unsuitable for development of any kind and a thorough environmental review is necessary to protect these areas, but there was no reason to impose an arbitrary moratorium that threatened to permanently dim our solar future.
"The real problem here is that the Bush administration is starving key government agencies of the resources they need to effectively do their jobs. We need to give the BLM and other agencies the staff and financial resources they need to conduct proper environmental reviews as expediently as possible. This moratorium was simply one more symptom of the Bush disease---a pervasive rot that has rendered our federal government unwilling or unable to perform even its most basic functions.
"At a time when energy independence has become more imperative than ever before, we need to do everything we can to encourage the responsible development of the full array of our renewable energy resources. For instance, it is essential that the Bush administration and Congress renew essential incentives for clean energy development as soon as possible. These incentives have been held hostage by a small group of Senators and hardworking Americans are losing their jobs as a result."
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