Friday, August 2, 2013

Feds bar new mining claims in solar energy zones

Washington • Federal officials have taken another step toward establishing 17 new “solar energy zones” on public lands in the West by barring new mining claims that could impede renewable energy development on the sites.
The Interior Department said Friday it has withdrawn nearly 304,000 acres of public lands in Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico from new mining claims.
To streamline solar development, the new zones are located near existing transmission lines, and were chosen because they had fewer environmental and cultural issues that would require years of study and mitigation.