No Action Alternative
Under the no action alternative, wind energy development would be subject to the terms and conditions of the existing Interim Wind Energy Development Policy. The interim policy establishes some restrictions on lands that can be developed and includes requirements for environmental review of individual projects.
Comprehensive guidance regarding mitigation of potential adverse impacts is not included in the interim policy. In addition, under this alternative, land use plan amendments to address wind energy development would occur only on a plan-by-plan basis.
The absence of a BLM Wind Energy Development Program would likely cause wind energy development on BLM-administered lands to occur at a slower pace than under the proposed action. The anticipated benefits of the Wind Energy Development Program, such as comprehensive BMP guidance, land use plan amendments, and tiered NEPA analyses, would not be realized under the no action alternative.
Implementation of the interim policy requirements for project-specific environmental reviews would likely result in the development of effective mitigation measures for individual wind energy projects. In that event, the potential adverse impacts to natural and cultural resources would be similar to those of the proposed action. The absence of a Wind Energy Development Program, however, could result in inconsistencies in the type and degree of mitigation required for individual projects.
Economic benefits also would be realized locally and regionally under the no action alternative, but the economic benefits to local communities adjacent to BLM-administered lands in the west could be reduced relative to the proposed action.
For More Information
More information on potential impacts associated with the no action alternative is available in Section 6.2 Impacts of the No Action Alternative in Chapter 6 (PDF, 132 KB).