1. RENEWABLE ENERGY:
Salazar finalizes plan opening Southwest solar zones
The Obama administration today finalized a plan to fast-track commercial solar development across more than a quarter-million acres of public lands in six Southwestern states, a move that was cheered by several environmental groups, developers and utilities. The plan signed today by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in Las Vegas will provide expedited permitting in 17 "solar energy zones" on Bureau of Land Management tracts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.