Feinstein bill highlights tension between renewable power, conservation

The bill also aims to overhaul – and streamline – the Interior Department’s planning process for wind and solar projects in the California desert and elsewhere.

Provisions of the bill include creating new Bureau of Land Management offices focused on renewable energy development in states with lots of wind and solar resources on public lands, according to a summary from her office.

Feinstein’s efforts highlight what can be a touchy divide between preservation and support for low-carbon energy.

Regarding the latter, last week she offered a plan to extend a federal grant program for renewable energy developers, who have seen traditional tax credit financing dry up in the economic downturn.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have reports Tuesday from Southern California on Feinstein’s new preservation plan.