So much for the Government’s much touted commitment to alternative energy. The New York Times reports that the Bush administration has placed a nearly two-year moratorium on the construction of new solar energy projects on public land. While the amount of oil drilling and gas drilling on public land has reached a new high — the President approved a record 7,100 new licenses in 2007 alone — the Bureau of Land Management is saying it needs until the spring of 2010 to study the environmental impact solar projects might have on land in Arizona, Nevada, California and other western states.
Meanwhile in other news, the Washington Post reports that the Defense Department is resisting orders to clean up Fort Meade, and two other military bases where "dumped chemicals pose an imminent threat to the public health and the environment." The Pentagon is also in violation of EPA orders to clean up twelve other military sites on the SuperFund list of most polluted spots. The Pentagon doesn’t want to follow the law, and guess what, the EPA isn’t going to push it. "Under executive branch policy, the EPA will not sue the Pentagon as it would a private polluter." According to the Post, military officials wrote to the DOJ last month to challenge the EPA’s authority. And challenged it was.
Do you feel defended? Protected, Managed? I say it’s time for some departmental renaming. What do you call a Defense Department that makes you sicker, an environmental protection agency that can’t, and a bureau of Land Management that seems to care most about managing threats to the oil and gas industry. You can post your suggestions here.