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To expedite production of renewable energy on public lands while protecting land, water and wildlife, Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar plans to create four Renewable Energy Coordination Offices, one each in California, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona, along with smaller renewable energy teams in New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Oregon.

According to Salazar, the renewable energy offices and teams will cut red tape by expediting applications, processing, reviews and permitting of renewable energy projects. The DOI is investing $41 million through the federal economic recovery plan to facilitate a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewables on DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.

BLM has a backlog of about 200 solar energy applications and more than 25 wind project applications in western states. Another 200 locations have been identified where applicants would like to begin site testing for future wind projects.

SOURCE: Department of the Interior

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