Obama Administration Says Will Expedite Renewable Energy Projects
08/07/2012| 10:38am US/Eastern
By Jared A. Favole
WASHINGTON--The Obama administration on Tuesday said it will expedite seven renewable energy infrastructure projects--including projects in battleground state Nevada--to power about 1.5 million homes.
The proposed projects include wind and solar plants in Arizona, California, Wyoming and Nevada to be run by companies such as First Solar Inc. (>> First Solar, Inc.) and NextEra Energy Inc. (>> NextEra Energy, Inc.), the White House said in a press release. The White House said additional projects to be expedited will be announced in the coming weeks.
"As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above strategy to expand domestic energy production and strengthen the economy, we are working to advance smart development of renewable energy on our public lands," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.
The announcement is part of President Barack Obama's "We Can't Wait" initiative, a series of executive actions he has taken to grow the economy in the face of opposition from Congress. Other steps under the "We Can't Wait" banner include efforts to help homeowners refinance their mortgages and help students lower their college loan payments.
It is unclear exactly how the administration will expedite the projects. In March, Mr. Obama called for expediting the southern portion of TransCanada Corp.'s (TRP, TRP.T) Keystone XL pipeline by quickening a government review of the project.
TransCanada at the time said it had already expected to receive the permit it needs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in time for it to begin construction by June.
Republicans at the time called the president's move "political opportunism" because he rejected in January the northern portion of the Keystone pipeline. That pipeline would bring oil from Canada to the U.S. and, because it crosses an international border, it needs the approval of the State Department.
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Corrections & Amplifications
This item was corrected at 1:18 p.m. EDT because the first paragraph misstated that several of the renewable energy projects the Obama administration said it will expedite were in battleground states. Only one of the states where the projects are being proposed is a battleground state, Nevada.