Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In case you missed it, federal lawsuit filed to stop 6 desert solar projects. Thoughts from the backporch.

Read the latest at the above links.

Long time readers will note that Ivanpah SEGS is included in the lawsuit.

Let’s hope and pray that a federal judge issues an injunction halting construction now before
further harm comes to the area.

What I am about to say is my take on the overall situation and is not meant to be construed as criticism of anyone.

I am grateful that these groups have put their money where their mouths are, and as the
saying goes, have skin in the game. That said, there is a lot left unsaid. Unfortunately for
them, if you look at this country’s history, there has been and to be brutally honest about it,
no real concern now for the native people’s heritage,etc. After all, this nation’s “manifest
destiny” was built on their attempted extermination as a people, and failing that, their being herded onto reservations.

I noted that they are suing over several issues, one can only hope that other public interest
groups will file amicus briefs on their behalf for some of those issues- as an example perhaps
a major environmental group might help out with NEPA issues? Or have they all morphed
into carbonmentalist groups, with the risks that their corporate checks might stop flowing in, if they get involved?

There is great good to come from the lawsuits, no doubt. It will gum up the works for a while
at least. Some issues will be clarified, and then the bulldozing will begin again in earnest.
Does anybody really believe that without a change of regime at the governing agencies involved, that miraculously the policy will change from desert destruction
to an enlightened policy of distributed power generation?

Here is what I think will happen. The lawsuit will continue, work will probably go on at Ivanpah since BrightSource was smart enough to hit the ground running, and a judge will
probably go along with it, the other sites may or may not fall by the wayside depending on
events in the capital markets, but the gold rush for solar and wind will not stop, it
will just show up at another desert location.
There is just too much money involved and
too many empty suits pushing the idea in Washington and Sacramento. But that is not all.

To date, the anti-desert building crowd still has not made a convincing case to the
vox populi, and until that happens and they understand and embrace the “save the desert” side, we have lost and the desert and all it represents is lost.

It is only a matter of time.

I am sorry to say this but that’s the way I see things from the backporch.


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