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White House fast-tracks Inland project

WASHINGTON – A plan to generate power – and local jobs – through the construction of 52 wind turbine generators in the San Bernardino National Forest is among 14 projects around the country selected by the Obama administration to move forward at an expedited pace, the White House said Monday.

The federal review period for the Cleghorn Ridge Wind Project will be cut from as long as three years to as short as 18 months under the order, according to guidance released Monday evening.

The decision stems from an August presidential memorandum in which President Barack Obama instructed agencies to speed up environmental reviews and permit decisions for high-priority infrastructure projects that have secured necessary funding and can create a significant number of jobs.

“Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of federal permit decisions and environmental reviews is one critical step the federal government can take to accelerate job creation,” the White House said in the guidance.

It was not immediately clear how many jobs would be produced by the project, which involves the turbine generators being aligned in an east-to-west direction along Cleghorn Ridge, which lies west of Lake Silverwood and south of Highway 138.

The federal agencies with jurisdiction over the project include the U.S. Forest Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force.

The White House said the project has been proposed by an organization called Cleghorn Ridge Wind LLC. Attempts to reach a representative of the corporation late Monday were unsuccessful.