Rule would boost solar and wind energy development

By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

The Obama administration took action Thursday to boost the development of solar and wind energy on public lands.

In this March 23, 2010, file photo, installers from California Green Design install solar electrical panels on the roof of a home in Glendale, Calif. The Obama administration is boosting the development of solar and wind energy on public lands. A final rule announced by the Interior Department on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, would create a new leasing program on public lands and encourage development in areas where it would have fewer effects on the environment. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration took action Thursday to boost the development of solar and wind energy on public lands.

A final rule announced by the Interior Department would create a new leasing program on public lands and encourage development in areas where it would have fewer effects on the environment.

The rule came a little more than two months before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, and a new Republican administration could reconsider it.

The Interior Department said the rule would help develop cleaner domestic energy.

"We are facilitating responsible renewable energy development in the right places, creating jobs and cutting carbon pollution for the benefit of all Americans," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

President Barack Obama has called on the Interior Department to approve renewable energy projects that generate 20,000 megawatts of power on public land by 2020. The department said the rule's competitive leasing provisions will apply to 700,000 acres of public lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

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