In a move to delay and stall the proliferation of solar energy, the Federal government including the Bush administration and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have decided to stop the moratorium madness. Last month, the BLM (or BM as some have called it) decided to put a freeze on solar applications for building photovoltaic resources on federal land.
The 22-month freeze was supposedly put in order to “study the environmental impacts” of solar panels in federal areas such as the vast uninhabited areas of Nevada, New Mexico and Utah which are prime for producing this alternative energy resource and cutting down on the amount of foreign fossil fuels this country uses. California, Arizona and Colorado were also on the list of affected states. The environmental impact of delaying and denying the quick adoption of solar energy, however, was not part of this study.
The BLM currently has 125 to 130 applications for producing solar energy on public land and will now continue to process those applications. The counterproductive move by the BLM would not have affected residential solar panels or the adoption of photovoltaic systems on private land, but nonetheless large-scale solar farm projects would have been put on hold for an inane government study that smacks of putting politics over people.
While both political candidates for November’s Presidential election are unveiling alternative energy plans hip deep in solar energy, the old regime continues to thwart progress in energy independence for this nation. Perhaps the Fed should let states such as Vermont lead the solar revolution, which has put an innovative plan in place to pay consumers to supply solar back to the grid.
Progress in solar energy will only work well when the Federal and state governments are pulling in the same direction. And, no matter which way you choose in the voting booth, expect solar energy to take one giant leap for mankind after the November elections.