Conserving a Place for Renewable Power
Byl, Jacob P.
Promoting renewable power and conserving land are often conflicting goals because renewable power requires a lot of land. The conflict is becoming an important issue on lands encumbered by conservation easements. I argue that the current legal rule allowing oil and gas development, but not wind and solar development, on conserved land does not make sense in light of the threats of climate change. The best way to encourage renewable power while respecting the intent of landowners is to have the Internal Revenue Service promulgate rules that explicitly allow renewable power going forward and interpret existing easements with a set of tools that match development parameters to conservation easements’ stated purposes.