By Sarah E. Owsowitz
Growing political and legal pressure in California to protect agricultural resources may lead to increased costs, litigation and political hurdles for the siting of large-scale solar developments. California laws protecting and requiring the analysis of impacts to the state’s agricultural resources, which make up a $37.5 billion industry, are nothing new. However, with the increasing number of proposed solar projects that would remove thousands of acres from farmland in heavily agricultural counties, politicians and agricultural interests alike are beginning to consider using these laws to impose tougher standards on solar projects, and, in some cases, using those laws to try to stop those projects.
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