Fed Un-Freezes Solar Power

<p>The Bureau of Land Management has reversed course on a proposed moratorium on the construction of solar projects on public land.</p>
July 3, 2008, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"The agency suggested its change of course is an example of its ability to nimbly respond to public outcry."

"'We heard the concerns expressed during the (public meetings) about waiting to consider new applications and we are taking action,' BLM Director James Caswell said in a statement Wednesday."

"But the more complete back story is that the agency - operating under an administration focused on the pursuit of oil and gas - did not consider that the nascent solar industry had friends in high places, including Congress, and bowed to external political pressure."

"The reversal came two weeks after Sen. Harry Reid learned from a Las Vegas Sun article that the BLM was implementing a 22-month freeze on solar projects. He immediately vowed to fight it, referring to it only as a 'proposed delay.'"

"The onslaught of media and political attention that followed made the moratorium all but unsustainable."

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Published on Thursday, July 3, 2008 in Las Vegas Sun
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