In Sunday’s Arizona Republic, former U.S. Senator Mark Udall penned an op-ed about the Obama Administration’s recently-approved rule that “fast tracks” wind and solar use on public lands. We guess it is ok in his eyes to blight massive swaths of public land with miles of ugly wind turbines and acres of toxic chemical-laden solar panels.
The Wind and Solar Leasing Rule was slow-cooked by the Bureau of Land Management over a five-year period, and is now finalized just weeks before Obama heads out the door. The new rule fast-tracks some green energy projects by establishing “designated leasing areas” where permitting is streamlined and, in certain cases, financial incentives may be awarded.
In a new spin on the widely accepted “all of the above energy policy,” Udall is now calling this endeavor part of a so-called “best of the above” policy. We can only imagine what is best in his mind. Udall also makes the absurd, half-baked claim that the West has enough wind, solar, and geothermal potential to “power the nation multiple times.”
And while Udall is excited about this development, not all greenies share his enthusiasm. The wind industry is calling foul, as 18 of the new designated leasing areas were approved for solar, but not a single one for wind. On top of that, the new rule “penalized projects outside of designated zones.”
While the prospect of years of future red tape has given wind investors pause, it is uncertain how that change in administration will treat this type of energy development. President-elect Trump has campaigned on bringing back America’s coal industry, while his rival promised to increase wind projects by a factor of 10x if elected. Regardless, this stiff arm of the wind industry is sure to spur some green on green violence as the rule is implemented.