Rep. Hageman Expresses Alarm Over “Deeply Flawed” Western Solar Plan

May 16, 2024 | Politics

Washington, D.C. (RELEASE) May 16th, 2024 — Congresswoman Harriet Hageman sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management yesterday voicing strong concerns over their proposed Western Solar Plan that threatens the long-standing multiple-use mandate for millions of federally-managed acres throughout the West. She was joined by Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse and 6 others Members of Congress.

“President Biden is continuing his war on the American West with this latest attempt to prop up unreliable and unaffordable energy to the detriment of the nation,” said Rep. Hageman. “This Western Solar Plan is nothing but another massive land grab designed to harm our legacy energy industries that have been under constant attack by this administration, and the Bureau of Land Management’s own proposal demonstrates the immense legal gymnastics they have gone through to prevent the production of energy resources that are actually reliable and affordable.

“In their preferred alternative, the BLM claims that only land within 10 miles of high voltage power lines can be used for solar power, yet they include proposed and hypothetical power lines in their plan. In total, 22 million acres of land – land that could be used for mineral extraction, livestock grazing, and recreation – will be designated for potential solar generation, a drastically less reliable, less affordable, and less efficient form of energy production than oil, coal, natural gas, or nuclear. 162 million acres throughout the West, over 2.5 times the size of Wyoming, will be negatively impacted by this plan.  Tellingly, only 1 page out of the over 1,000 pages in this report even mentions mineral resources and livestock grazing. This plan is an insult to the multiple use framework and the BLM must provide Congress with answers to these very serious concerns.”

“The Biden Administration has consistently undermined the multiple-use mandate for our public lands, and the proposed revamp of the Western Solar Plan is no outlier,” said Chairman Newhouse. “This plan impacts 162 million acres of Federal land, potentially taking these lands offline from uses such as mining and grazing to restrict use to solar, in contradiction to the intended purpose of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. This is the latest attempt by the Biden Administration to elevate intermittent renewables over reliable traditional energy generation and affected stakeholders across the West deserve answers.”

Read the full letter here.