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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to establish coordination offices that will expedite the permitting of wind, solar, biomass and geothermal projects, along with needed electrical transmission facilities, on BLM-managed lands. This action advances the Interior Department's efforts to achieve the goal that Congress set in Section 211 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which calls for the development of 10,000 MW of non-hydropower renewable energy projects on the public lands by 2015.

The Renewable Energy Coordination Offices will be staffed by BLM employees from a variety of natural resource disciplines, and will also receive staff support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other bureaus within the Department of the Interior.

The order authorizes the BLM director to allocate resources that support the processing and permitting of renewable energy projects on public lands and to develop best environmental management practices for these projects in order to recover costs in the processing of renewable energy applications. The order is also expected to improve coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as state agencies, in order to facilitate the processing and permitting of renewable energy projects on public lands.

SOURCE: Bureau of Land Management

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