BLYTHE, Calif. (AP) — Native Americans are clashing with the federal government over plans to fast-track approval and construction of massive solar energy projects that the Indians fear will harm culturally significant sites in Western deserts.
Recent lawsuits by two Native groups pose a threat to a half-dozen proposed solar developments that the Obama administration has identified as a high priority in its quest for more clean energy production. One suit already has halted work on a major solar farm in Southern California.
Land use and legal experts say the lawsuits mark a new phase in a historically troubled relationship between American Indians and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Native Americans have previously gone to court to block oil, gas, mining and other energy projects on public lands managed by the agency.
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