Solar power not welcome in Mojave Desert

Winningreen Issue Alert       A032309

Environmentalists: solar power not welcome in California desert

By Gretchen Randall

March 23, 2009

Issue:  In April  we wrote that California environmental groups achieved delaying construction of a solar plant in the Mojave desert because it might  be habitat for an endangered squirrel prompting Governor Schwarzenegger (R) to call it a “symbol of environmental protections run amok.” 

Now, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wants to designate 500,000 acres of the desert as a national monument  prohibiting any new development.  Much of this land, now managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), was at one time owned by the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroad and purchased by the federal government between 1999-2004 with $40 million from the Wildlands Conservancy. Now that group  claims construction of wind or solar plants would damage the desert tortoise.

In addition, a recent government report claims any type of energy production leads to the death of birds.  It notes that birds die when they hit wind turbines, oil and gas rigs and transmissions lines while mining roads destroy nesting habitat.  Lands converted to growing corn for fuel is blamed for declining bird population as well.  The study concludes, "Energy development has significant negative effects on birds in North America.”

Comment 1:  "If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it," Governor Schwarzenegger said.

Comment 2:  It seems that environmental groups want us to give up our electricity, computers and furnaces to save the planet.  They are unwilling to find ways for us to co-exist on earth with animals without reverting to the Stone Age.

Comment 3: Once again, environmentalists have demonstrated they have no interest in the environment — their goal is nationalization of America.  For “redistribution of poverty” socialism to succeed,  “wealth producing” capitalism must be destroyed. Depriving America of abundant, affordable energy is the environmentalists’ weapon of destruction.

Background: The endangered squirrel involved in this issue is listed under California’s Endangered Species Act, not the federal act.  Fourteen solar and five wind projects have submitted plans to build in the California desert but eight have already been rejected because of the endangered squirrel’s habitat.

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC