Regulation Database – Department of Interior

Directives to Agencies

Secretarial Order 3283: Assignment of Renewable Energy Generation Responsibilities

Secretarial Order 3283 was issued by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne on January 16, 2009 in order to specify the Department of the Interior’s responsibilities to accomplish the goal laid out in Section 211 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This section states the provision to approve non-hydropower renewable energy projects on public lands with a total combined generation capacity of at least 10,000 MW of electricity by 2015 (Section 211, Public Law 109-58, 119 Stat. 660 (2005)). The Order clarifies that the Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management has the “lead responsibility” in meeting the federal renewable energy goals, with other Program Assistant Secretaries providing support (including the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks). This Secretarial Order was issued with the aim of furthering development of renewable energy in order to “enhance the energy security of the United States.”

Secretarial Order 3285: Renewable Energy Development by the Department of the Interior 

This Order establishes the development of renewable energy as a priority for the Department of the Interior and establishes a Departmental Task Force on Energy and Climate Change. This Order also amends and clarifies Departmental roles and responsibilities to accomplish this goal.

Secretarial Order 3289: Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources (2009/2010)

This Order establishes a Department-wide approach for applying scientific tools to increase understanding of climate change and to coordinate an effective response to its impacts on the land, water, ocean, fish, and wildlife, and cultural heritage resources that the Department manages. It calls upon BLM and other agencies within the Department to consider and analyze potential climate change impacts when undertaking long-range planning exercises, and to develop landscape-level strategies for understanding and responding to climate change impacts.  It creates a “Climate Change Response Council” to oversee these efforts. It also calls for the creation of a Landscape Conservation Cooperation Network which connects federal, state, local and tribal governments and other stakeholders to manage landscape conservation efforts across jurisdictional boundaries.

The order was amended in February 2010 to integrate climate change mitigation considerations (primary renewable energy development goals) into the planning directives outlined in the order. The “Climate Change Response Council” was renamed the “Energy and Climate Change Council”.

Secretarial Order 3338: Discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to Modernize the Federal Coal Program / Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing 

This Secretarial Order directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to prepare a discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that analyzes potential leasing and management reforms to the current Federal coal program, in order to help determine if the program should be modernized in a manner that gives proper consideration to the impact of that development on important stewardship values, while also ensuring a fair return to the American public. One key issue to be addressed in the PEIS is the effect of the coal leasing program on greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions from the production and consumption of federal coal, and how the leasing program should be updated to account for those impacts. BLM commenced the environmental review process in early 2016, and published a scoping document in January 2017 which outlines the key issues that will be considered in the PEIS.

DOI also announced a moratorium on federal coal leasing during the environmental review and modernization process.


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