Friday, July 30, 2010

Insight into the thought processes of the “giant solar site” developers and the minions who enable them.

Think cheap land. Think cheap BLM land. Think cheap federal land with the taxpayers
and the deserts assuming all the costs and all the risks. You know, I have thought all
along that some of these so called “renewable energy firms” are literally in the position
of not even having two nickels to rub together and the only way they can survive, now
that the bottom has dropped out of the credit and capital markets, is through the largess
of the taxpayers, in the form of their elected officials and the unelected but never ending
bureaucrats.

And since these same politicians are only interested in re-election and/or moving into the
highly paid lobbying world(and some of the pencil pushers as well), they all want to go with the flow, so to speak.

Oh they make a great deal about the “public’s voice being heard” and about “public comment periods” and other such pablum for the masses, but never doubt, that the decision has come down from on high, and that decision is going to be implemented, come
hell or high water, and it doesn’t matter one bit what the public thinks or what damage
ensues to the environment. They just don’t care, get it? Here’s the proof taken directly from the source:

The Energy Commission staff believes that the direct project impacts to
biological resource, and soil and water resources, and visual resources, and
the cumulative impacts associated with biological resources, land use, soil
and water resources, and visual resources for the Imperial Valley Solar
(IVS) Project will be significant. There is no feasible mitigation that
would reduce the impacts to a level that is less than significant given the
scale of the project, and other projects that were cumulatively considered.
In addition, staff has concluded that the project will not be able to comply
with Imperial County several laws, ordinances, regulations and standards,
also referred to as "LORS." Finally, staff recognizes that due to a lack of
information regarding the long-term performance of this new technology, it
is uncertain whether the applicant's claims regarding reliability will be
met.
Notwithstanding the unmitigable impacts, consideration needs to be given to
the fact that the project is a solar power plant that will help California
meet its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 33 percent in 2020 and AB 32
greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. As such, it will provide critical
environmental benefits by helping the state reduce its greenhouse gas
emissions, and these positive attributes must be weighed against the
project's adverse impacts. It is because of these benefits and the concerns
regarding the adverse impacts that global warming will have upon the state
and our environment, including desert ecosystems, that staff believes it
would be appropriate for the Commission to approve the project based on a
finding of overriding considerations, consistent with CEQA Guideline Section
15093, if the Commission adopts staff's proposed mitigation
measures/conditions of certification. “

You can’t make this stuff up folks. Who else but a bunch of pointy headed, pencil packing
geeks writes like that? Now allow me, your host Morongobill, to interpret the
dense prose above.

They admit that the project will destroy everything that makes this area what it is. It will
take out the plants and animals, regardless of the so called “mitigation.” The soil will
be destroyed, bladed over and hauled away, the water table will be drawn down by
all the water used, cultural artifacts gone, way of life for the residents gone, vistas gone
forever. Basically everything that made it what it is, scraped away by the earth
movers.

They acknowledge that this is unproven technology, hell, unproven, go to Maricopa
County, Arizona, where they have a test site, they need so many mechanics to
keep the God-damned Stirling dishes going that they are making a dent in the unemployment numbers! Imagine this, if you can, bulldozing the Yosemite Valley
or Yellowstone, to put in unproven, half-assed technology that probably won’t
work- you think people would stand by for that? Well, believe it or not, some people feel that way about some of these areas targeted for the bulldozer. In my
case, as you may or may not know, it’s Ivanpah.

But here’s the absolute bottom line- these jackasses are going to do whatever
they want and when they want it, no matter what we think.

The operative sentence below:

It is because of these benefits and the concerns
regarding the adverse impacts that global warming will have upon the state
and our environment, including desert ecosystems, that staff believes it
would be appropriate for the Commission to approve the project based on a
finding of overriding considerations, consistent with CEQA Guideline Section
15093, if the Commission adopts staff's proposed mitigation
measures/conditions of certification.”

Oh but wait, it gets better. As I have said before, certain members of certain environmental
activist groups, members in leadership positions, have somehow gotten into bed with the
corporate interests and because of “global warming concerns” have signed off on these
projects. By doing so, they provide valuable political cover for the politicians, bureaucrats, renewable energy firms, and investment banks and others, such as
the myriad lobbying and legal firms that are interested in sucking on the hind tit
of the taxpayers, in the form of the federal stimulus funded loan guarantees! A list
of these can be found in a previous post by this blogger where I named names and
provided proof in the form of internet visitor logs, showing their repeated visits to
my site. Morongobill, enemy of the state, public enemy number one! And the
scourge of BrightSource Energy Ivanpah Solar.

Here is an article I found this morning. This is from the trade group that represents the
concentrated solar producers, translation, the BrightSource’s, the Tessera’s, etc. Let me
point out, the piece ostensibly was to discuss the various land sources available for
their giant projects, but I only see one potential land owner listed- the BLM or you and I.
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/partner/first-conferences/news/article/2010/07/securing-land-to-develop-csp-plants-in-the-us-private-state-or-federal?cmpid=WNL-Friday-July30-2010

Here is the link to the post where I showed the actual internet visitor logs, some very big
names there in the energy and lobbying fields, trust me.
http://morongobillsbackporch.blogspot.com/2010/06/wow-my-little-blog-has-been-getting.html

You know, the plan today was to write a post about my return visit to the Big Morongo
Canyon Preserve yesterday, I made another hike down the canyon trail, almost didn’t
make it back up to my car in the heat, and did some thinking while sitting under the shade
of those cottonwood trees. Thinking about just how wonderful the area was, how unspoiled,
and what it would look like say if there were wind turbines on the ridgetops along the
canyon. It just wouldn’t be the same.

These wild places are special. Despite man’s best efforts, they have succeeded in surviving to this day. A little worse for wear in some places, hardly touched in others.
Nature has a way of reclaiming the land over time. But an assault of this magnitude,
in so many different locations of the desert, simultaneous assaults involving wholesale
destruction of the ground surface, animal and plant habitats, and to the supply
of underground fossil groundwater, will inexorably lead to the end of the deserts as we now know them. Industrialization of the area and further habitat destruction
are and will be the “intended consequences” of our policy makers’ actions.

And folks, you know what really hurts is the fact that they plan, in most cases, to keep the
plants running for 40 or 50 years only, and to just close them down and leave the scarred
land which will not recover for thousands of years, if ever. Sorry, I forgot they plan to “mitigate or restore” the sites, hee hee. Yeah, I really believe that.

Is this a wonderful country or what?

Morongobill


 

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