Biden Administration to Revoke Proposed Amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Biden Administration to Revoke Proposed Amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

On February 17, 2021, the Biden Administration announced it will revoke amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) filed during the last days of the Trump Administration.  The DRECP was a collaborative, interagency planning effort finalized in 2016 that was intended to balance renewable energy development and desert conservation across nearly 11 million acres of public lands in the deserts of California.  The DRECP carves out certain areas of the deserts for renewable energy development, and makes other areas off limits for reasons including conservation and recreation.  The Trump Administration’s amendments would have reduced the number of areas where renewable energy development was off limits, opening up an additional 800,000 acres for renewable energy development.  In a statement from the Bureau of Land Management, it was unnecessary to reopen and reconsider the DRECP, which had been developed after years of collaboration and stakeholder input.  Renewable energy development in the DRECP land area will continue on under the original plan.