DOI Restores Protections to Public Lands, Ensures Responsible Development


The U.S. Department of Interior has revoked amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) filed by the Trump administration last month.

“We are pleased to learn that the Department of Interior has restored the DRECP by terminating a last-minute attempt by the previous administration to unilaterally amend it,” says Karen Douglas, commissioner of the California Energy Commission (CEC). “Valued public lands will continue to be protected while ensuring renewable energy projects needed to achieve California’s 100% clean electricity target can be developed responsibly. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the Biden administration on a range of climate and renewable energy issues to boost the nation’s economic recovery while working to achieve our mutual environmental goals.”

The DRECP was developed by the CEC, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The plan identifies areas in the desert appropriate for the utility-scale development of wind, solar and geothermal energy projects. It also provides for the long-term conservation and management of covered species and preserves the natural resources, recreational areas and scenic values of the desert.

Photo: Karen Douglas

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