This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 29, 2005

BLM Proposes to Encourage Wind Energy Development in the West

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to amend 52 of its land-use plans in nine western states to encourage wind energy development on public lands. On June 21st, the BLM released its final programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for wind energy development on BLM-administered lands in the West, which BLM and DOE have been preparing since 2003. The PEIS proposes to speed up the permitting of wind energy in the West; the U.S. Department of the Interior claims the plan will open the door for the development of more than 3,200 megawatts of wind energy on public lands.

According to the BLM, the proposed land-use plan amendments in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are designed to encourage applications for wind energy development rights-of-way, but not to eliminate the need for site-specific analysis of individual development proposals. Along with the proposed land-use plan amendments, the PEIS also identifies specific areas where wind energy development would not be allowed. See the BLM press release.

The final PEIS was announced in the Federal Register on June 24th; any person that participated in the planning process that may be adversely affected by the wind energy plan has 30 days to file a protest. See the Wind Energy Development PEIS Web site.