February 19, 2014 |
Federal officials have announced the approval of two solar projects on public land in California and Nevada. The projects are expected to generate about 550 megawatts of renewable energy, or enough to power about 170,000 homes, the Interior Department said in a statement Wednesday. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the two projects are among 50 such utility-scale renewable proposals that have been approved by the department since 2009. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America The Stateline Solar Farm Project will be built in San Bernardino County about two miles south of the Nevada border.
December 17, 2013 |
While the country has enjoyed an oil and natural gas boom thanks to new technologies, the Interior Department has failed to keep up and raise royalty rates to maximize revenue on public lands, according to government auditors. That's especially a problem for onshore drilling, where "Interior officials are currently unable to make timely adjustments to royalty rates," a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said. The Bureau of Land Management, for example, didn't go through with plans last year to bump royalty rates on public lands to 18.75% from 12.5%, the report said.
November 2, 2013 |
A plan to double film permit fees on public lands has produced a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Los Angeles) joined more than 50 other representatives from both sides of the aisle this week, sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture requesting that fees for filming on public lands not be increased. The departments, squeezed by budget cuts, are considering a plan that would double filming fees. On the set: movies and TV Cardenas and a bipartisan group of representatives contend the higher fees would drive more production out of the country.
October 31, 2013 |
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Thursday called on Congress to move past partisan bickering and fully fund the nation's parks and wildlife refuges, invoking Teddy Roosevelt's call to conservation as a "moral issue. " Delivering her first major address in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, Jewell chided lawmakers who support the partial government shutdown then criticized the National Park Service for closing cherished monuments. “The real test of whether you support conservation is not what you say in a press conference when the cameras are rolling,” she said, “but whether you fight for it in the budget conference.” Jewell took office in April and faced a 5% across-the-board sequestration cut in the budgets of the agencies she oversees.
October 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Just as Interior Secretary Sally Jewell started her job in April, her department was faced with across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. Then there was the 16-day partial government shutdown last month, where the National Park Service took heat from Congress and the public for shuttering parks and monuments. The shutdown served as a reminder of "what's at stake" for America's public lands, Jewell told a group Thursday at the National Press Club, where she highlighted the importance of a conservation legacy amid budget cuts, tensions between development and conservation, and climate change.
September 4, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS - A major government critic of the Bureau of Land Management's treatment of wild horses in the West was in Nevada on Wednesday to inspect an agency corral housing 1,500 mustangs recently rounded up from federal range land. Arizona Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, the top Democrat on a congressional panel on public lands, is taking a tour with several animal advocates for a up-close view of a program that has divided activists and federal officials in 10 states across the West. “The congressman has been tracking the wild horse and burro issue for pretty much the entire time he's been on committee, over the last 10 years,” Brandon Bragato, a senior legislative assistant for the congressman, told the Los Angeles Times.