The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

James Navarro, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0247

Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife, (916) 313-5800

Private Lands Could Host More Solar, Wind Power

New bill offers incentives for renewable energy development on disturbed lands


California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley introduced the Renewable Incentive Act (S 2899)
Thursday to encourage renewable energy companies to build their solar
and wind power plants on privately held lands - shifting the focus away
from fragile areas on public lands in the Mojave desert.

Renewable energy companies have mostly sought permits to build
large-scale power plants on public lands in order to tap federal
stimulus dollars tied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The bill would provide similar incentives to companies looking to build
on lands that have already been used or developed for other purposes.

Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife's California program director,
thinks that the bill is a good idea: "Some of the projects targeted for
public lands may result in vast areas of environmentally sensitive
wildlife habitat and pristine lands being scraped clean and fenced off.
This kind of development causes complete and unnecessary devastation to
an area.

"Senator Feinstein's bill should help shift the focus of renewable
energy development to better, smarter locations near our cities and big
energy consumers, existing transmission lines, on former industrial
sites and abandoned mines and other disturbed lands. That's the kind of
smart planning we need to make clean, renewable energy a success. We
look forward to continuing to work with Senator Feinstein on this

Learn more about Defenders' principles on renewable energy development.

Defenders of Wildlife is the premier U.S.-based national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of imperiled species and their habitats in North America.

(202) 682-9400