Federal officials have approved a plan that sets aside public lands across the West for big solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development after years of delays and false starts.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the new plan a "roadmap ... that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands."
The plan replaces the department's previous first-come, first-served system of approving solar projects, which mired government land managers in years of study and review of projects on a case-by-case basis.
Now the department is directing development toward lands with fewer conservation concerns that also are near power lines.
The new "solar energy zones" consist of 285,000 acres in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:01 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:01:14 GMT
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared. Adrienne Salinas, 19, hasn't been seen or heardMore >
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:36 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:36:55 GMT
Gun threat at Arizona Mills Mall
A gun threat forced the evacuation of Arizona Mills Mall Tuesday night. A caller told 911 that someone was pointing a gun at theater-goers while they were watching a movie. The scene is unfolding andMore >
A caller told 911 that someone pointed a gun at theater-goers while they were watching the new 'Superman' movie.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:58 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:58:02 GMT
The man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them captive for years inside his west side is due in court this morning. Ariel Castro will go before Judge Michael Russo at 8:30 a.m. on nearlyMore >
With his head hanging down, suspected kidnapper Ariel Castro went before a judge on Wednesday morning.
Castro refused to make eye contact with anyone, but did answer the judge when questioned. He provided a simple answer of 'yes' when asked normal questions about the proceedings. More >
Friday, May 31 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-06-01 00:01:34 GMT
A bus driver loses his job over a Facebook post. Here's hold it unfolded. The last week of school in Haralson County, a student told driver Johnny Cook he was hungry, that didn't get to eat lunch at HaralsonMore >
A bus driver recently lost his job over a Facebook post. More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:40 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:40:44 GMT
Jesus Cabrera Molina (Source: CBS 5 News)
A judge has denied bond for man believed involved in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.Police say 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina is being held on suspicion of manslaughter and leavingMore >
Maricopa County court officials said Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the crash in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.More >