Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BLM Arizona plan includes utility-scale solar option

The Arizona office of BLM released a Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for 1.4 million acres in southwest Arizona that includes the potential for utility-scale solar power plants and other land use alternatives on mineral development, recreation, and wilderness designations. BLM is taking public comment on the plan alternatives until Nov. 25, 2011.

"Those interested in a wide range of resource issues, such as livestock grazing, hunting, target shooting, off highway travel and access management, wilderness characteristics, wildlife, and utility-scale renewable energy and utility corridors are encouraged to review the draft plan and participate in this public process. The Draft RMP/EIS will be available for review online next week at: www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/planning/son_des.html."


  1. Beaux Talks9:45 PM

    The results of this exercise are quite predictable.

    Environmental and anti-mining groups will soon be asking their members to respond to the draft RMP. Prepared statements will be provided to members just in case they don't have the savvy to prepare comments using their own words. Hundreds of responses, all with essentially the same wording, will be sent to the BLM, which will use them as indicators of strong support for the favored options.

    Professionals in the BLM and USGS who understand the relative scarcity of mineral deposits and their importance to the U.S. will remain silent or will not be listened to. After all, the directors of the BLM and USGS are part of the Salazar political team and don't want to make waves and risk losing their jobs.

    Mining will be seriously restricted or banned; clearing large portions of the desert to construct solar or wind farms will be acceptable. Destruction of habitat for the desert tortoise during construction of solar farms and destruction of large numbers of raptors and other birds by windmills will be conveniently overlooked because solar and wind energy are "clean."

    Meaningful consideration will not be given to using our own mineral resources, creating jobs and tax revenues here to boost our economy, and reducing dependence on foreign countries for the resources that a healthy economy requires. Next week our President will be asking Congress for billions of dollars for programs to create jobs and get the economy rolling before the 2012 election. His request for funding will not include encouraging access to Federal lands for production of mineral and energy resources.

    Salazar may already have the final plan written.

  2. Anonymous4:34 PM

    I have been looking for this draft plan for over two weeks now and have been unable to find it for review. Typical government follow-through.