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Endangered Species Experts Available to Discuss Solar Projects on Public Lands

November 1, 2010

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- Vermont Law School has faculty experts available to comment on the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to significantly expand solar power facilities on federal lands.

The U.S. Interior Department last week approved the largest solar project ever planned on U.S. public lands, the $6 billion Blythe Project, which is slated to generate 1,000 megawatts when it's built across more than 7,000 acres in the Mojave Desert in California. The project would be the largest solar installation in the world, doubling the amount of solar electricity the U.S. can produce. It was the sixth solar energy project approved on federal lands in recent months as companies race to meet the December deadline for federal stimulus funds. Another solar project is expected to be approved in the next few weeks. The projects could start transmitting electricity by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

As the story progresses, VLS professors Pat Parenteau and Craig Pease can offer analysis of the projects' environmental, legal and policy aspects, including habitat protection for native species that are endangered, threatened or of special concern, including the desert tortoise, the Western burrowing owl, the bighorn sheep and the Mojave fringe-toed lizard.

Parenteau, a lawyer whose specialties include imperiled species, public lands and climate change, is available at  802-831-1305  or

Pease, a research scientist whose expertise includes endangered species, ecology, and science and the law, can be reached at  802-831-1307  or

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
 802-831-1106 ,

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