Mesila Valley Desert by Brian Stansberry Creative Commons

A few days ago, Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar established a task force to identify zones on public lands where the department can help begin the development of mega-sized renewable resource projects. At first blush this sounds like a great idea, but the plan is meeting with resistance from at least one blogger. RecycleBills blog has a post that challenges us to "Just Say No" to the zones and, while he may be a bit hyperbolic, he does make some valid points. For example, these projects not only impact the acreage upon which they are built but, by creating more roads and infrastructure to move the generated electricity, they can also open a vast area to human-induced damage.

Recycle Bill isn't all about criticism, though, as he also offers up some good alternatives to intruding on wilderness areas. He points out that that there already exists huge amounts of public land that could be used for solar installations. In addition to the rooftops of governmentowned buildings and parking lots, we have thousands of miles of Interstate and Federal highways that could benefit from having a solar panel canopy and also provide an intelligent place to lay an inter-city high-voltage direct current (HVDC) network. Recycle Bill lists a lot of other places we could install distributed solar energy that are close to where the energy would be used, but will the task force listen to the voice of a lone blogger crying out about the wilderness? We don't know but we will listen to your cries in the comments after the break.

[Source: RecycleBills]



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