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.