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Rohrabacher Testifies on Solar Power Amendment To Cap and Trade Bill

Jun 25, 2009

Washington, Jun 25, 2009 - Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) testified today before the Committee on Rules in support of his Emergency Solar Power Permit amendment to H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The amendment would exempt solar energy projects on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management from environmental restrictions in order to expedite the permitting process. There is a current backlog of approximately 200 applications awaiting approval.

Mr. Rohrabacher offered the following testimony:

“Madame Chairman, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify before you today to make my case for making in order my amendment that would expedite the development of solar energy. The energy bill before us, which aims to push our country toward an energy independent future, has set forth mandates for renewable energy production. In an attempt to help meet these mandates, my amendment would remove the impediments that have kept federal desert land from being used to produce solar power.

“Specifically, my amendment would exempt any solar energy projects on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management from environmental restrictions—restrictions that ironically, are keeping us from improving the environment. There are around 200 projects pending BLM approval, with the first applications dating back to 2005. The BLM has yet to approve even one application. If we are serious about increasing production of renewable energy, we cannot allow vast amounts of land in our deserts remain off-limits to solar power. By making my amendment in order, we will give the House the opportunity to remove a major roadblock to the development of renewable energy. Thank you, Madame Chairman.”