With the cost of fuels and the environmental toll of traditional carbon-based sources of electricity generation quickly climbing, solar power in America has become so popular that the government has placed a moratorium on the building of any such projects on Western public land. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has decided to initiate a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in conjunction with the Department of Energy (DOE) to assess the "environmental, social, and economic impacts" that solar installations could have on some of the 119 million acres that it manages in six Western states. While the PEIS is being conducted, no new applications for solar plants will be accepted and the 125 applications already received - which could generate up to 70 billion watts or enough power for 20 million homes - will be the object of their scrutiny. All this effort is being undertaken to, ahem, "increase domestic energy production and ensure greater energy security." According to the New York Times, the PEIS could take two years.

Those folks hoping that the electricity they feed into their Chevy Volts and Apteras in the coming years would be supplied by increasingly carbon-free energy sources may take heart that their voices have not been left out of this process. Comments from the public are encouraged at the Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Solar Energy Development PEIS) website. Of course, we also appreciate your comments as well.

[Source: New York Times]

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