Bird's-Eye View: Wind And Solar Projects On BLM Land

Law360, New York (January 17, 2012, 1:30 PM EST) -- At the start of the 20th century, individuals and companies could explore, develop and purchase U.S. federal lands containing natural resources with relative ease. Under the General Mining Law of 1872, such resources were transferred to full private ownership for fairly nominal sums through a process known as “patenting.”

Eventually, Congress decided that natural resources on federal lands should remain under federal ownership. The Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 signaled a policy shift in this regard. It was the first step toward what has become...
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