The Obama administration announced last week that it is setting aside 285,000 acres of public lands to be used for “commercial-scale solar development” – a total acreage amount that surpasses Rocky Mountain National Park, with 265,461 acres owned by the federal government.

“As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today finalized a program for spurring development of solar energy on public lands in six western states,” the Department of Interior press release on the new project states.

“The Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy development provides a blueprint for utility-scale solar energy permitting in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah by establishing solar energy zones with access to existing or planned transmission, incentives for development within those zones, and a process through which to consider additional zones and solar projects,” the press release states.

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