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Wind and solar approvals on federal land — Trump, 8; Obama 15

The Department of the Interior under the Trump administration approved around half as many wind and solar projects on federal land as the Obama administration had at the same point in its first term, according to a report published yesterday by the Center for American Progress (CAP).

According to Reuters:

CAP analysis, based on federal data, found the Trump administration has approved seven solar projects and one wind project since taking office compared with 15 total wind and solar projects approved under the previous administration in its first 3.5 years.

The study also found the administration has failed to hold competitive lease sales for wind and solar energy development despite holding dozens for oil and gas leases during the period. It has also dismantled the Bureau of Land Management’s National Renewable Energy Coordination Office, CAP said, adding that Interior officials have had 10 times as many meetings with oil and gas industry representatives as with solar and wind companies.

Electrek’s Take

Even though the Department of Energy under chief Dan Brouillette says it favors an “all of the above” strategy, Brouillette also stated in December 2019 that he thought there was a “bright future for coal.”

Brouillette stated it again just yesterday in an op-ed in the Pennsylvania Patriot-News titled, “Clean Coal Is Essential to America.” (There’s no such thing as “clean coal.”) That’s downright embarrassing: US coal-fired electricity power fell to a 42-year low last month.

There is simply no enthusiasm or effort coming from the current administration for green energy. The Trump administration has systematically rolled back EPA regulations to boost fossil fuels over renewables.

In May, the Trump administration ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands.

Electrek chose an image of Obama with solar panels for this story. Why? Because there were plenty to choose from — and we found no images of Trump with solar.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.