Trump Administration Unexpectedly Bills Solar & Wind Projects for Millions in Rent

by | May 23, 2020

The Department of Interior has called in millions of dollars in back rent payments from solar and wind operators on federal lands, reported Reuters, even though the clean power sector is among the industries struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Interior had suspended rent collection for two years pending a review of the rates, and did not answer Reuters’ queries on the review’s status. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is offering to suspend royalty payments by oil and gas drillers, and has given the nuclear industry a 90-day break from its federal fees. Status: Reuters reported the story on May 18, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.