Department of Interior Announces New Mission

Secretary of Interior Salazar announced a dramatic change in the Department's mission today, complete with a new look for the government agency's seal.  Looking over a map of America's southwestern States, Salazar said "it's time to step into the New Energy Frontier," referring to large-scale solar and wind energy facilities.  "We've blasted mountain-tops in West Virgina for coal mines, and fracked groundwater with natural gas wells in Wyoming," he said, "but until now we have not found ways to industrialize the deserts in the southwest."  Interior's new focus is to cover as many hillsides and valleys with massive fields of wind turbines and solar panels to reduce the need for destructive gas, oil, and coal exploration, according to Salazar.

The new Department of Interior seal, realigned to match the agency's new mission.  Department of Interior abandoned the iconic bison that graced its emblem for decades.
The Department's new mission statement, "Powering Our Future With America's Great Outdoors by Making them Less Great," has drawn concerns from renewable energy experts and taxpayers,.  Interior is already reviewing energy company requests to use over 1,000 square miles of public land in California for wind and solar facilities.  "Are you kidding me? This much destruction is likely to drive several species of plants and wildlife closer to extinction," said one resident who enjoys rock climbing in the Mojave Desert.  A Nevada resident upset with multi-billion dollar Federal grants and loans for solar energy companies said "it makes no sense to subsidize these energy companies when we could invest it back in our local communities with rooftop solar...it seems like Washington is missing out on a win-win situation." 

When asked about Salazar's new mission, Secretary of Energy Dr. Chu said "Department of Energy has funded research that makes homes more energy efficient, and makes it possible to put solar cells on everything from rooftops to windows.  Salazar's plans are obsolete...I think he just doesn't like nature.  Last time we went camping he ended up at the Hilton."  Salazar declined to comment on the redundant missions of his agency and the Department of Energy.

One reporter asked Secretary Salazar what prompted him to alter the agency's seal, which was once adorned with the iconic American Bison.  "Let's get real.  Bison burgers just don't sell like regular hamburgers.  What's the point of saving that beast from extinction?  Our new seal is photorealistic, bringing it up to the standards of the modern age.  We also want to sensitize people to what our lands should look like -- towers of steel carrying megawatts of electricity from fields of glass mirrors and spinning wind turbines.  We are already soliciting contracts for companies that want to collect birds killed in collisions with wind turbines.  The New Energy Frontier is creating layer upon layer of green jobs."

Craig Zweibel, a worker building the new Joshua Tree Solar Project on 7 square miles of public land was agnostic about his new green job. "I guess it's okay, but I had to drive for two hours from Barstow to get to the construction site.  I think I might have run over one of those desert tortoises on the way out here today. My commute wouldn't be so bad if we were installing these solar panels on houses in my neighborhood."

A representative for Acme Solar and Wind, the German firm that received Federal grants to build the Joshua Tree Solar Project, was more ecstatic.  "We couldn't pass this opportunity up.  American taxpayers take up most of the financial risk, and Secretary Salazar is making sure the Endangered Species Act doesn't get in the way of our business."

Acme Chief Financial Officer Franz Gurten said "if we don't start producing more green energy, climate change is going to destroy the environment.  We only need to bulldoze 3,000 square miles to supply California with solar and wind energy.  You can kiss those California condors and desert tortoises goodbye, but at least polar bears stand a better chance at survival.  Oh yeah, once we start building in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona, we might also need to get rid of those whooping cranes, golden eagles, bighorn sheep, and pygmy rabbits.  But damn those polar bear cubs are so cute."

Salazar promised to complete the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which assesses the ecological impacts of Interior's plans to open up millions of acres of public land--mostly pristine desert habitat--to renewable energy companies.  Members of the public were invited to comment on the plan. "The impact statement will evaluate all of the negative environmental impacts of these projects," Salazar said. " I probably wont read it, but at least the process will let the people feel like we listened to their concerns."

(The article above is a satirical interpretation of Department of Interior's New Energy Frontier slogan and renewable energy siting plans.)

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