California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird issued a statement today regarding the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Like Audubon California, he thinks it's a perfect lousy idea to reopen negotiations on the landmark conservation deal.:
“The 2016 Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is the result of over eight years of collaborative effort and public participation involving the California Energy Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as local governments, renewable energy companies, environmental groups, businesses, and citizens. Hundreds of meetings, thousands of public comments, and deep commitment of public agencies generated a Plan that provides for renewable energy production from public lands while also protecting the incredibly rich biological, cultural, recreational, and many other values of the California desert.
The Plan itself allows for modifications and course corrections, and due to the combined input, resulted in zero lawsuits. Reopening the plan is a waste of time and resources that will result in uncertainty, delay, and litigation. Reopening will stall renewable energy projects on public lands and impose major new costs on stakeholders without benefit. Instead, BLM should work proactively with the state, local governments, tribal leadership, and other stakeholders to implement the plan effectively and resolve issues with implementation as they arise.”