Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Applauds Obama/Salazar/Chu Plan to Expand Solar Energy on Public Lands in West, Calls for Technology to be Made in America

December 16, 2010
Press Release

American-Made Solar Panels on Public Lands
Address our Biggest Challenges, Garamendi Says

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Interior Department, today praised President Barack Obama, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu for releasing a comprehensive environmental analysis identifying proposed 'solar energy zones' on public lands in six western states, including California, most suitable for utility-scale solar energy production. Garamendi called on President Obama to require the solar energy zones to use American-made equipment and parts to Make It In America and create U.S. jobs.

"The potential solar energy zones identified by the Administration today provide America with an opportunity to tackle the most pressing challenges of our time," Congressman Garamendi said. "We can create quality American jobs manufacturing solar panels if we Make It In America – ending our addiction to foreign oil, bolstering national security, and making American manufacturers more competitive in the global Clean Energy Race that will determine the winners and losers of the 21st century."

"I want to thank President Obama, Secretary Salazar, and Secretary Chu for their leadership in advancing clean energy, and I encourage them to Make It In America. Manufacturing matters," Garamendi added.

Congressman Garamendi is the author of a series of Make It In America bills, including legislation that would create American jobs by requiring all clean energy – including solar wind, and advanced biofuels – purchased with federal taxpayer dollars or tax credits be made in America.

The detailed study released today, known as the Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, was compiled over the past two years as part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to create a framework for developing renewable energy in the right way and in the right places.

The Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) assesses the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with solar energy development on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered areas in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. 

Under this proposal, the BLM would establish Solar Energy Zones (SEZ’s) within the lands available for solar development right of way applications. These are areas that have been identified as most appropriate for development, containing the highest solar energy potential and fewest environmental and resource conflicts. The Solar Energy Zones would provide directed, landscape-scale planning for future solar projects and allow for a more efficient permitting and siting process. 

The Draft Solar Energy PEIS document is available online at the project website: Maps are available at