Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mixed environmental signals from the Obama administration- anyone else not surprised? Plus calling all environmental groups involved in the struggle, especially the legal departments!

News from the last couple of days:

National Oil Petroleum reserve opened up for “responsible(oil drilling and maybe coal
later)development per the energy czar, Kenny(new sheriff in town) Salazar. Oh, I forgot,
”environmentally responsible development.” This is coming from the same regulators
that allowed BP, Transocean, et al carte blanche to almost singlehandedly destroy the
Gulf of Mexico and if we don’t stop them, will allow BP to take its’ environmentally
conscious drilling procedures up to our Arctic. Over the walrus’s and polar bears and Eskimo’s dead bodies of course. I don’t care what anybody says, you can’t change a
leopard’s spots. I sincerely doubt BP has changed in its’ business model, face it, they
are serial screw ups, environmentally speaking.

Speaking of coal, a rare moment of backbone from this administration. EPA is threatening
to halt Spruce 1, a mountaintop removal coal mine project in the aptly named Pigeonroost
Hollow in West Virginia. I’m sure folks are happy to see them finally take a stand before all
the mountaintops in Appalachia are leveled and the valleys filled in, and streams and waterways destroyed. This action is shocking to this blogger as the only previous
courage shown to me was the firing of the general recently.
That may not have been as much a show of courage as it was a matter of pique, but I won’t question the “teacher-
in-chief’s” motives.

Let’s see, we have mentioned coal, oil, how about gas pipelines? Yes, it appears that after
a thorough, impartial review typical bureaucratic procedure, a rubber stamping of a done
deal made in advance, the BLM has issued approval for right of ways for the 680 mile Ruby
Pipeline Project, and speaking of rubberstamping, they will start construction as soon as they get approval from the FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

How about another rubber stamp deal? It was announced by the Forest Service that 19 miles of the Sunrise Powerlink will be built through the Cleveland National Forest, supposedly after a “comprehensive deliberation” from the forest supervisor. Why does
it always seem that these “comprehensive deliberations” all have the same ending, with the environment always getting the shaft, while the “renewable energy” firms always get the goldmine?

And how could I forget Solar Millennium? It was reported on the Mojave Desert Blog
that they sent a letter to the California Energy Commission requesting their Ridgecrest
solar project be removed from the application review process for 2 years, so that they can
do thorough study of the mojave ground squirrel, a laudable motive and to be run by the
acknowledged scientific expert on the species, but smacked of “too good to be true” to
this old, grizzled blogger.

From the “too good to be true” news department, it also seems that Solar Millennium’s
application to build, not one but two, humungous solar projects in the Amargosa Valley
was given an enthusiastic “thumbs up” by the Nye County Supervisors recently after an
apparently rowdy and scripted public hearing. These projects in Nevada have already
had a BLM completed draft environmental impact report done and are awaiting the EIS.
It remains to be seen if it will follow NEPA rules, but hey, what’s wrong for friends to bend
the rules every so often?

I am sure there may have been other deals which have managed to fall below the radar
screen on the backporch, and I apologize for devoting a lot of my attention to the macro-
economics issues facing our country today. It seems I have been neglecting my duty
to my readers to discuss issues facing the Mojave desert recently. Hopefully, this post
today will help redress that failure of mine.
archivecd16 251

And now, my take on the future regarding these environmental issues. Folks, you
better hope and pray that the big environmental groups come through with their
legal departments. This train is revving up its’ locomotive, sand has just been dumped under the drive wheels, it’s ready to take off. Sorry but I just don’t trust
Salazar, the governator, the CEC, Forest Service, BLM, Minerals Management, the
FERC, et al. They are going to rubberstamp these projects, no ifs, ands, or buts
and all the petition signing, letter writing, etc ain’t gonna do a god-damned thing to
stop this train. Only the courts, the deliberative pace of the courts, coupled with
the steady decay of the credit and capital markets, as well as the fed’s continued
balance sheet issues, these may be the only ways left to kill these projects.

God help us from these fools and bureaucrats.

Feel free to forward this missive to any and all, especially to the big environmental groups.
We have our backs to the wall and we need help now.

Morongobill

Links to articles for this post:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/opinion/15thu2.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/us/15mining.html?th&emc=th

http://nvdesertmtn.org/Energy/energyinfo/milleniumok.html

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9GUEVLO0.htm

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jul/13/sunrise-powerlink-approved-cleveland-national-fore/

http://www.mojavedesertblog.com/2010/07/ridgecrest-solar-power-project.html

a private word for Shaun over at the Mojave Desert Blog, I am so jealous of your new home page photo taken
at the Granite Mountains in the Mojave National Preserve,
what a fantastic photo!

Folks, your participation in this discussion via your comments are welcomed and
encouraged by this blogger. Please contribute here, and if you have any news articles
I may not have seen or other projects that will have an effect where you live, you can
email the info here: morongobill@gmail.com

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