From today’s New York Times, Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects:
Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.
The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.<br
But the decision to freeze new solar proposals temporarily, reached late last month, has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from swaths of sun-baked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.
I’m all for having an effective environmental impact analysis. But this seems to be overkill. As I understand it, every project has to go through an individual EIS. I don’t quite understand the need for a moratorium while they assess their methodology. If the EIS’s are that suspect, are they going to also shut down the application for every new coal plant or oil rig as well? I doubt it.