BOULDER, Colo. – As President Barack Obama pursues his plan to address climate change, a national sportsmen’s coalition encourages him to make sure that renewable energy projects on public lands are “smart from the start” by conserving important fish and wildlife resources.
Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development said Tuesday that it supports renewable energy development on public lands to reap the country’s wind and solar resources and help reduce fossil fuel emissions. The president's Climate Action Plan calls for the Interior Department to permit 10 gigawatts of renewable energy, adding to the 10 gigawatts approved by the end of 2012.
``Hunters and anglers realize how important energy is, and we support tapping renewable sources and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. We just want to make sure it’s done thoughtfully,’’ said Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands policy director. ``We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of poorly planned oil and gas development that has threatened some of our most cherished wildlife and wild places.’’
The SFRED coalition supports bipartisan legislation that would establish competitive leasing for renewable energy projects on public lands while protecting important fish and wildlife habitat and directing royalty revenue to conservation and local governments. The group also played an important role in helping shape the Interior Department’s solar programmatic environmental impact statement, which provides a blueprint for siting large-scale projects.
SFRED is led by Trout Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.