Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another giant solar project and many more coming!

Another alarming email in my box this morning from the Sierra Club's Listserv.

It appears that the BLM has been sitting on information regarding the First Solar Desert Sunlight project which will be located in the Chuckwalla Valley adjacent to the city of Desert Center, California. This is at Joshua Tree National Park's backdoor and is right next to the proposed Eagle Mountain Landfill project.

These paperwork delays, the with-holding of information are typical stalling tactics smacking of a patriarchal
top down disdain for the little guy and his wishes are of no consequense. Signs of a high and mighty bureacracy,
out of control,running roughshod over the wishes of the locals or others concerned.

Before you, my loyal readers, think that I've finally succumbed to paranoia and that I'm waiting on my "virtual backporch" with my "Laptop and a rifle" for the black helicopters, allow me to introduce this into evidence, if the court allows:

Testimony of Secretary Salazar before the Senate environment and public works committee on 1/28/10. Here are some of the highlights and are all direct quotes from the secretary:

"We have huge solar potential in the deserts of the Southwest containing an estimated 2,300 gigawatts of energy capacity, not far from the great cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

I believe that actions speak louder than words.
  • 128 applications for utility-scale solar projects that involve approximately 77,000 megawatts and 1.2 million acres of public land;
  • 95 geothermal energy drilling applications;
  • 257 applications for wind testing rights-of-way; and
  • 24 applications for wind energy projects.
We have opened Renewable Energy Coordination Offices in California, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona and established teams in six other states—Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon/Washington and Utah—that are charged with expediting the required reviews of ready‐to‐go solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass projects and supporting the prompt permitting of appropriate transmission-related projects on our public lands.

And, along with DOE, we are preparing a Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, due for public release in late 2010, that provides a landscape-scale plan for siting solar energy projects on our public lands in the Southwest that have been identified as having the best potential for utility-scale solar energy development.  The BLM has identified approximately 23 million acres with solar energy potential, including the 24 Solar Energy Study Areas, which are being reviewed as part of this process to evaluate the environmental suitability of solar energy development across the West.

The Obama Administration also continues to cut through bureaucratic barriers.  In October 2009 the Administration announced that nine federal agencies, including the Department, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to expedite the siting and permitting of electric transmission projects on federal lands.  This agreement commits the participating agencies to close coordination and a number of procedures to improve the federal process under existing authorities, including establishing a single point of contact for all required federal authorizations."

Here is the link to the Salazar info: 

Here is the link to the info on the First Solar Desert Sunlight project: 

Per the email I received,the Basinwatch folks are working on that webpage and it should be updated in the next couple of days. There is a very interesting entitled "Why not distributed generation instead?".
That's a very interesting question which is answered by an engineer, Bill Powers and I really recommend
my readers that you surf right over and check it out, then think about it. 

Which would have less impact on the environment folks- putting solar arrays on every roof, business and private houses or bulldozing every square foot of  raw desert land and habitat to put in these "fast tracked"
solar and wind projects. Which impacts more-letting rainwater wash off the rooftop arrays or pump out every last drop from the underground aquifers to wash off and cool these giant "solar energy industrial complex"
farms? Put the arrays up on existing roofs or bulldoze endangered palant and animal habitat? Put the arrays
out of site on roofs or totally destroy the awesome desert vistas we so enjoy now?

I had to destroy the desert to save it.

It really makes you want to cry, but I think we should just GET MAD AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT

end of rant.


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