Great news: Interior successfully fast-tracking solar projects in Arizona

posted at 7:46 pm on January 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

…Just what we’ve all been so eagerly waiting for, I’m sure.

The U.S. identified about 192,000 acres of government-owned land in Arizona that are suitable for commercial-scale solar and wind farms.

The agency also established the Agua Caliente Solar Energy Zone, 2,550 acres in the state with strong sunlight and few resource conflicts that are well-suited for solar projects, according to a U.S. Interior Department statement today.

Agua Caliente is the third solar zone in Arizona and the 18th in the nation. Establishing such areas will facilitate development by identifying sites where projects are unlikely to face environmental hurdles and other potential problems.

It isn’t exactly that I’m so very dead-set against the Interior Department approving land use for solar projects, if they must, although it would obviously be better if the solar industry in general wasn’t so shamelessly subsidy-powered — but if solar panels can be legitimately cost-effective in some areas of super-sunny Arizona, fine.

What’s galling is that the Interior Department is deliberately fast-tracking and facilitating development for “renewable” projects that fit in comfortably with their political ideology while touting the stated aim of helping the U.S. become more energy-independent, but then they’re actively stalling on other oil-and-gas projects that would more thoroughly unleash the economy-growing fuel sources for which American businesses and consumers are clamoring.

The Interior Department announced a further delay on its fracking-rules proposals on Friday which, actually, is a good thing for the oil-and-gas industry, because it means Interior may be backing off somewhat on the overly onerous rules of their original intent. The real question, of course, is how long can the Obama administration keep stalling, pretending that the shale oil-and-gas boom isn’t providing a relatively clean source of energy that can put America on straight-and-narrow to domestic energy production and wealth-and-job creation, and keep acting as if the environmental lobby’s complaints actually hold any real water?

The Interior Department is delaying planned rules that would impose new requirements on the controversial oil-and-gas production method called hydraulic fracturing.

Interior said Friday that it will float a new version of draft rules first issued last May and take new comments on the proposal that will govern “fracking” on public lands.

“In response to comments from stakeholders and the public, the [Bureau of Land Management] is making improvements to the draft proposal in order to maximize flexibility, facilitate coordination with state practices and ensure that operators on public lands implement best practices,” Interior spokesman Blake Androff said Friday.

The decision to issue another draft, which is expected to surface in the first quarter of this year, marks a significant delay in the plan. Interior initially floated the draft rules last May, and had earlier intended to finalize them by the end of 2012, although that timeline had already slipped.


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S U R E !

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

…Senator Senile approves!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM

…it’s where Megan nude sunbathes

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I was so afraid it might be overlooked, too. Was I ever wrong.

listens2glenn on January 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

…she has the IQ of a solar panel like her dad!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Ahhh Chu, you rotten bastard.

rayra on January 18, 2013 at 7:52 PM

…hi l2g!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Dang blast you, KOOLAID’. It was supposed to be my Bishop.

MINE, MINE, MINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on January 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Uh huh tell us another one eh Chu…

Like several millions of our stimulus money went to china, yeah oh it may have created 200 jobs here but created over 800 for china.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2010/12/09/report-dems-helping-chinese-get-450-million-in-stimulus-money/

Scrumpy on January 18, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Obysmal can stuff his upside-down policies where the sun don’t shine.

onlineanalyst on January 18, 2013 at 8:02 PM

So which campaign donar is getting payback and their company is soon to go into default?

tommy-t on January 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

It’s incredibly ironic that a solar farm can face environmental hurdles.

BKeyser on January 18, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Alien spotting. Man in the street greenroom at 2:12.

davidk on January 18, 2013 at 8:07 PM

s/b donor after our dollars

tommy-t on January 18, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Malinvestment of limited resources to rent seekers and cronies under the guise of “solving” a problem that doesn’t exist so that a small population of ignoramuses can feel good.

tom daschle concerned on January 18, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Didn’t Hansen(spit) of NASA come out today and state that global warming hasn’t occurred in over ten years?

Why yes, yes he did.
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/01/17/nota-bene-hansen-admits-warming-standstill-is-real/

Mr. Arrogant on January 18, 2013 at 8:24 PM

…it’s where Megan nude sunbathes

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Gee, thanks for putting that image in my mind.

predator on January 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Team Obama Sets Aside 1.7 Million Acres for Sage Grouse… OR 368 ACRES FOR EACH GROUSE

and the hits just keep on coming

CoffeeLover on January 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Once Cowboy Kenny gets the boot back to CO., all will be well /

hillsoftx on January 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

10th Amendment. The federal government doesn’t have jurisdiction over non-federal lands. When will someone tell them to go pound sand?

Charlemagne on January 18, 2013 at 8:41 PM

There’s solar bullsh!t all over Tucson. Especially around the college.

wolly4321 on January 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

So we are celebrating government favoring some businesses over others, by freeing up red tape for them?

lorien1973 on January 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM

The Interior Department announced a further delay on its fracking-rules proposals on Friday which, actually, is a good thing for the oil-and-gas industry, because it means Interior may be backing off somewhat on the overly onerous rules of their original intent. The real question, of course, is how long can the Obama administration keep stalling, pretending that the shale oil-and-gas boom isn’t providing a relatively clean source of energy that can put America on straight-and-narrow to domestic energy production and wealth-and-job creation, and keep acting as if the environmental lobby’s complaints actually hold any real water?

When I heard the report which was slated to be finalized in 2012 was deferred to 2014 it was obvious there was insufficient evidence to the supposed damaging effects of fracking. There is so much cigar-exploding-in-your-face for the administration for this issue. This will become laughable if they attempt to push an environmental hazard where none exists.

itsspideyman on January 18, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Agua Caliente might be fascinating when viewed as an engineering project. Located adjacent to I-8, it’s a freaking EYESORE!

GarandFan on January 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Interior says ” Frack You”!

Drill and Fill on January 19, 2013 at 2:10 AM

Looks like they’re wanting to locate this along the big drug smuggling corridor in Arizona. Fun fun!

As an aside, loads of environmental groups are already challenging the construction on these sites, as they seem to endanger one species or another.

Hill60 on January 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM

what a shame, da guvmint is actually having a little difficulty in shutting down energy resources. What’s the world coming to, Obama and the rest of the hate filled fanatics may have to compensate & find other ways to cause misery. Vote Left, watch the country die a slow death!

arand on January 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

You missed the punchline

Warren Buffett

Agua Caliente = First Solar

always, ALWAYS, find out who benefits.

John Kettlewell on January 19, 2013 at 4:04 PM

That’s not the only land they declared suitable for solar farms. They cut down trees in the parking lot at the VA clinic I go for care. Then, they created covered parking in the whole parking area. Why? They then placed solar panels on top of the structures for the covered parking.

Who do you thing paid for that?

Scotty on January 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM