White House supports Feinstein Desert Landmark legislation

Sen Feinstein’s legislation to create a Mojave desert national monument and protect over 1 million acres of habitat got support from the Obama administration. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified in Congress that the bill would not interfere with the 52 solar energy projects proposed for Southern California deserts.

"We've come to understand that your legislation is exactly the right approach," Salazar told Feinstein, D-Calif., during a hearing before a Senate subcommittee. "There are right places for there to be development, there are places that we ought not have development and I think, in working closely with you and the stakeholders in Southern California, we have achieved that balance."

The legislation, called the California Desert Protection Act of 2010, was introduced late last year and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for consideration. The panel has yet to schedule a hearing on the bill.

Audubon joined other environmental groups in helping define criteria for siting of renewable energy projects in the Mojave and Colorado desert.

Full story in the Press Riverside here