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Brandywine Conservancy Initiates National Coalition on Energy Policy

Large swaths of permanently protected land have been targeted for the siting of utility infrastructure projects. In some cases these areas encompass entire states. Thousands of acres of permanently protected natural and agricultural resources are being threatened by these projects which use federal pre-emptive authority to circumvent state and federal environmental laws, utility regulations and conservation decisions.

The Brandywine Conservancy has formed a coalition with other land trusts and interested parties around the country to bring the conservation community’s mounting concerns about utility infrastructure threats to the attention of decision-makers in Washington, D.C.

Rather than a piecemeal approach fighting one proposed gas or power line after another, the Conservancy has brought together other conservation organizations and government agencies to create a national coalition of concerned parties to influence a more balanced national policy on utility infrastructure.

Now is the time for conservation groups to join together to defend our mutual interests. Collective defense is always more effective than one group fighting a national effort. Land trusts need a coordinated effort to ensure that new utility projects do not erode years of effort and investment to permanently protect open space.

Pressure needs to be applied at the federal level to have Congress: 1) reform the federal approval process for utilities; 2) engage in long-term planning to assess and address realistic future energy needs; 3) create education and incentives to programs to reduce energy demand; and 4) invest in alternative energy technologies that would reduce the need for additional infrastructure.

The Conservancy invites you to join in this effort. For more information contact Sherri Evans-Stanton, Director, Brandywine Conservancy Environmental Management Center, 610-388-8398 or sevansstanton@brandywine.org.

Utility Infrastructure Advocacy Project (Word, 36KB)

More on condemnation and National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETC)

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Support from land trusts

Christian Freitag, attorney-at-law and executive director at Sycamore Land Trust (IN), says "I view Conservation Defense Insurance as another step the land trust community is taking to keep our promises. We claim that we will help people protect their land in perpetuity. With this program, the public can be more confident than ever that we take that commitment seriously."

 

Greg Gamble, executive director at Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (CA), says that "this is one of the most helpful things that the Land Trust Alliance could attempt for its members, and I have greatly appreciated the professional, thoughtful, fair and inclusive process that you have led."

 

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