Resolving Conflicts Between Endangered Species Conservation and Renewable Energy Siting: Wiggle Room for Renewables?

Badichek, Gregg Matthew

Two federal policies—the protection of endangered species, and the rapid creation of renewable energy infrastructure—currently exist in significant legal tension. While both are important for the development of necessary sustainability, climate change induced by the continuous burning of carbon-based fuels likely poses a greater threat to endangered species than does the growth of commercial-scale renewable energy sites. This paper outlines several points of conflict between the two policies and subsequently considers the extent to which federal agencies responsible for renewable energy oversight and development possess “wiggle room” under the Endangered Species Act. A few recommendations for greater leeway are then offered.

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Also Published In

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

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Earth Institute
Published Here
December 9, 2015