Interior Department Pursues Renewable Energy on Land and at Sea

March 18, 2009

The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced new initiatives and agreements aimed at accelerating the development of renewable energy on public lands and on the outer continental shelf (OCS). On March 11, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a Secretarial Order that declares renewable energy development as a top priority for the department. The order also establishes a task force that will identify specific zones on public lands and on the OCS where the Interior Department can facilitate the development of solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy, as well as small hydropower or incremental hydropower additions to existing structures. The task force will work with the department's bureaus and offices to identify and resolve any obstacles to renewable energy permitting, siting, development, and production in those renewable energy zones. The task force will also identify electric transmission needs and will prioritize the permitting and environmental reviews needed for new transmission lines.