Rohrabacher Introduces Emergency Solar Power Bill
Washington, Jul 17, 2008 - Today, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced H.R. 6527, the “Emergency Solar Power Permit Act,” in response to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) effective freeze on approving solar project applications. A backlog of 130 pending applications currently exists dating back to 2005 without a single application being approved because BLM is waiting on Environmental Impact Statements from the applicants. The Emergency Solar Power Permit Act would waive the requirement to produce an Environmental Impact Statement in order to expedite the process and allow clean, environmentally friendly, renewable energy to begin development.
“Regulatory and political obstructionism has created this energy shortage that has lead to such high prices,” said Rohrabacher. “These bureaucratic impediments are now even damaging the possibility of fully utilizing solar energy which is the supposed darling of the environmental movement. This bill helps remove some of those regulatory roadblocks for solar energy and we need to be moving forward on all fronts to address the current energy crisis.”
According to a recent New York Times article, the BLM had “placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact.” The moratorium on accepting applications has since been lifted, however, applications are still not being approved in a timely manner.
Reps. Akin, (R-MO), Broun, (R-GA), Franks (R-AZ), Jones (R-NC), Royce (R-CA) and Young (R-AK) are current original co-sponsors. The bill has been refereed to the House Committee on Natural Resources.