Bush Administration Pushes Renewable Energy on Public Lands

February 9, 2005

The U.S. Department of Interior announced on February 4th the availability of a new report that highlights the Bush administration's efforts to increase interest in the development and use of renewable energy resources on U.S. public lands. The 26-page report, "Renewable Resources for America's Future," shows that lands managed by the Interior Department provide 48 percent of the nation's geothermal energy, 17 percent of hydropower, and nearly 10 percent of wind energy production in the United States.

Since 2001, the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has processed 200 geothermal lease applications, compared to 20 in the preceding four years. In 2003, the Interior Department licensed two new 49-megawatt geothermal power plants in California, the first such approvals in over 10 years. The department also approved two geothermal power plant expansions and one new 30-megawatt power plant in Nevada. In the same timeframe, the BLM issued more than 60 rights-of-way for wind energy testing and development, quadrupling the number of permits nationwide. And as a result of increased interest in the development of wind on public lands, the agency is also preparing a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement to address wind development, which is scheduled for completion this summer. See the Interior Department press release, or go directly to the report (PDF 1.6 MB). Download Acrobat Reader.