A wind-driven turbine drives an electrical generator on private property near a site proposed for wind turbines to generate electricity, in the Mojave Desert near the town of Apple Valley, Calif.
Associated Press photo
For years, wind farms sprouted on privately held land while projects on public lands languished, in part because of the complex federal environmental reviews. Projects on private land are governed by state regulations if a federally protected species does not live there, which can lead to a cheaper and quicker approval process. If a threatened or endangered species is on private land, then federal environmental review is required just like a public site.