Report: Biofuels Policy Backfires, Hurts Environment

monarch-bfSACRAMENTO,Calif. – A new report on the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard shows multiple ways the policy has had major unintended consequences for the environment. Researchers from University of California-Davis, Kansas State University and the University of Wisconsin found that promoting the biofuel ethanol drove up the prices of corn and soybeans – which led farmers to plant a lot more of those crops. 

David DeGennaro, agriculture policy specialist with the National Wildlife Federation, says that led to the conversion of 1.6 million new acres into farmland between 2009 and 2016.

6 Ways Interior Is Advancing America’s Energy Independence

doi logoThe Interior Department is known for protecting some of the most amazing landscapes across the U.S. An equally important part of Interior’s mission is supplying the energy necessary to power America.

Check out some facts about Interior’s role as an energy leader:

1. Interior’s energy history dates back over 100 years. Interior was established to handle domestic matters, and with the creation of the Bureau of Mines in 1910, Interior became responsible for mine safety and minerals technology. Over the years, Interior’s work in energy expanded, and in 1977 several of its functions were spun off to form a new cabinet agency: the Department of Energy.

BLM Releases Solar Energy Monitoring Strategy

BLM logoThe Bureau of Land Management released today the final strategy for monitoring the impacts of solar energy development in eastern Riverside County. Public comments from the October draft strategy were considered into this final strategy which is part of the implementation of the Western Solar Plan.

The Riverside East Long Term Monitoring Strategy will help the BLM understand solar energy development's broad-scale effects on resources such as vegetation, hydrology, and air quality. The information generated through the strategy will help the BLM permit future solar energy projects.

Future of BLM’s Renewable Energy Program: Rule codifies Smart from the Start

doi logoInterior Department Finalizes Rule Providing a Foundation for the Future of BLM’s Renewable Energy Program: Rule codifies BLM’s Smart from the Start approach, establishes a robust framework for competitive leasing, and increases transparency and certainty 

WASHINGTON – Advancing the President’s Climate Action Plan to create jobs, cut carbon pollution and develop clean domestic energy, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized its rule governing solar and wind energy development on public lands. The rule strengthens existing policies and creates a new leasing program that will support renewable energy development through competitive leasing processes and incentives to encourage development in suitable areas.

In Case You Missed It: Energy Security is National Security

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Published by: The Washington Times By: Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt

Just as energy independence is fundamental to our nation’s security, reducing our dependence upon foreign countries for critical minerals is vital to our nation’s long-term interests. Prior to the Trump Administration, the policies coming out of Washington were marginalizing the energy, manufacturing and mining industries and, as a result, ultimately diminishing our country’s security. Those days are over.

Modernized Regulations and Promoted Clean, Renewable Energy

BLM LogoBLM Marks Major Gains in 2015 Ensuring Safe and Responsible Energy Development on Public Lands

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) made major progress in 2015 promoting responsible energy development on public lands while also managing for a wide range of uses on the agency's 245 million acres.  While BLM advanced modern safety and production-measurement regulations, the agency also made progress on the development of master leasing plans for oil and gas areas as well as new landscape-scale planning efforts to achieve both conservation and energy development goals.   
 
"Each accomplishment is significant on its own, but together, they're a big stride forward in our management of the nation's energy resources" said BLM Director Neil Kornze.
 
Facilitating Renewable Energy Development 

Navy and Energy Commission Agree to Partner on Renewable Energy Projects

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission and the Department of the Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today that will help the state and the Navy and Marine Corps continue to operate on the cutting edge of technology by pursuing innovative renewable energy initiatives.

Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Dennis V. McGinn signed the agreement formalizing a partnership that supports Navy and Marine Corps installation efforts to develop alternative energy resources and increase energy security and reliability. The MOU ensures continued collaboration and information sharing on energy projects and initiatives.

Secretary Zinke Statement in Support of President Trump’s American Energy Executive Order

doi logoWASHINGTON - Today, President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a bold American energy Executive Order that will put our nation on track to full and dominant American energy independence. The Executive Order calls on the Secretary of the Interior to review the Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 moratorium on new coal leases on federal land and also review three final rules from the Department regarding oil and gas production on both federal and private land and the outer continental shelf.

Significant Progress Made in Landscape-Scale Management Efforts in 2015

BLM LogoProgress on Greater Sage-Grouse, Wildfire Prevention, and Responsible Energy Development

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2015 made major strides toward addressing challenges that require action, analysis and planning across broad landscapes. The Bureau’s accomplishments over the past year include unprecedented efforts to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse; to devise new approaches to prevent and respond to wildfire; to make land- use planning efforts more timely, science-driven and adaptable; and to protect sensitive resources while enabling responsible energy development.  These actions exemplify how the BLM is addressing broad challenges to more effectively meet national, state, and local needs on the national public lands.

The Future of Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest

The Future of Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest: Challenges and Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a report detailing a vision for increasing the nation’s hydropower capacity by 50% by 2050. Despite a variety of technical, environmental, and market challenges to be overcome, the report concludes that there remain significant opportunities for future hydropower development in the United States. Those opportunities come particularly through upgrades to existing hydropower facilities, adding power generation capacity to existing dams and canals, and development of new pumped storage capacity. In the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s hydropower leader, the potential for new hydro development in undammed stream reaches is limited largely due to environmental constraints associated with fish habitat protections. However, there are still significant regional opportunities to optimize the use of existing infrastructure to increase hydropower capacity. In particular, through development of in-conduit hydropower and pumped storage hydropower facilities, the region could reap benefits ranging from increased grid reliability, improved ability to incorporate intermittent renewable power sources like wind energy, and reduced carbon emissions.

USDA Announces Restart of Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Renewable Energy

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility.

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