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There's a storm brewing the Mojave Desert -- environmentalists are fighting green power advocates to block construction of 13 alternative energy projects.  (Source: New Cover Magazine)

Led by Senator Dianne Feinstein, environmentalists have succeeded in essentially killing the projects, before the bill to protect the land has even passed.  (Source: Fox News)
Senator is concerned that the plants would damage wildlife

The alternative energy, battery, and alternative fuels movement has been largely guided and advocated by environmentalists over the last couple decades.  However, another important guiding force are those who merely want to improve efficiency and move us, for economic reasons, from depletable resources to sustainable ones.

As the greentech movement gains traction, those forces are finding themselves clashing more often, and some environmentalists are finding it hard to reconcile their loves of green technology and the environment.  A prime example of this is a brewing solar power mess in California.

The Mojave Desert is located in southeastern and central California, as well as Nevada.  The desert is home to Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.  The region also receives a tremendous amount of sunlight and wind, so California, in its push to embrace alternative power approved multiple projects to be built in the desert.

Now thanks to Senator Dianne Feinstein, 13 solar and wind projects in the region may see their hopes dashed.  She has authored a bill which seeks to block the projects, which she says is critical to protect millions of acres of land.  The bill would also create two new Mojave national monuments.

Even before the bill sees a single vote, it's already ruined many of the projects.  Many of them have been delayed indefinitely, and the Californian government has changed its mind about routing new "green grid" power lines towards the monument.

Karen Douglas, chairwoman of the California Energy Commission comments, "The very existence of the monument proposal has certainly chilled development within its boundaries."

The land covered in the debate was originally owned by the Catellus Development Corporation.  It was then purchased by environmentalists and donated a decade ago to the government to protect.  Sen. Feinstein says she's just making good on that promise.

She states, "The Catellus lands were purchased with nearly $45 million in private funds and $18 million in federal funds and donated to the federal government for the purpose of conservation, and that commitment must be upheld. Period."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmentalist and a partner with a venture capital firm that invested in a solar developer called BrightSource Energy, blasted Sen. Feinstein's actions, stating, "This is arguably the best solar land in the world, and Senator Feinstein shouldn’t be allowed to take this land off the table without a proper and scientific environmental review."

He says that the proposal will make it much more difficult for California to achieve its goal of having a third of its power provided by alternative energy by 2020.  BrightSource has canceled a large project planned for the monument area.

The Mojave desert, besides being ultra-sunny is home to a host of critters including the desert tortoises, bighorn sheep, fringe-toed lizards and other rare animals and plants.  As green power advocates seek to tap the abundant sunshine and wind energy across the country and the environmentalists fight to block development to protect local species, it seems that these kinds of conflicts will only be growing more heated in the near future.

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Probably about her husband making money
By Davester on 12/22/2009 10:01:48 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't be all surprised if this actually came down to her husband that is a developer trying to muscle his way into the project. Senator Dianne Feinstein has repeatedly used her position as a Senator to benefit her husbands business as a developer at the former McClellan AFB in California. Sad, but true. I wish our elected folks were out for us and not for themselves.

RE: Probably about her husband making money
By MatthiasF on 12/22/2009 10:14:01 AM , Rating: 2
Her husband divested of his stake in the company prior to the government money being issued for the cleanup. So, your attempt at a misinformation spreading conflict of interest argument is moot.

Do your research before you make bold accusations.

RE: Probably about her husband making money
By Shining Arcanine on 12/22/2009 10:38:00 AM , Rating: 2
So does that mean that he had insider information, similar to the kind that the federal government locked Martha Stewart in jail for having?

RE: Probably about her husband making money
By AEvangel on 12/22/2009 10:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
Whether this accusation is true or not, the bottom line there isn't a Single Senator up there that is not getting some type of kick back for their vote.

RE: Probably about her husband making money
By neogrin on 12/22/2009 11:05:06 AM , Rating: 2
Ah well, since everyone is doing it...that makes it alright then.

RE: Probably about her husband making money
By JonnyDough on 12/22/09, Rating: 0
By Suntan on 12/22/2009 12:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
You volunteering to be first in line for population reduction?

Didn't think so.


RE: Probably about her husband making money
By Ringold on 12/22/2009 12:56:01 PM , Rating: 3
Its always sad to see development

Perfect quote that sums up environmentalists feelings, thanks.

By knutjb on 12/23/2009 1:49:10 AM , Rating: 2
Its their denial of reality. We, man, are the problem but they are never willing to take the first step for their solution.

RE: Probably about her husband making money
By Keeir on 12/22/2009 1:57:12 PM , Rating: 4
You know...

Guess which countries have the lowest birth rates?

Hrm.... could it be countries with abundant power and high standard of living?!?

In the United States, guess which section of the population is growing the slowest (actually has negative growth rate)?!?

If enviromentalist truely cared to reduce human population, the data suggests we should attempt to raise people's standard of living. Cheap power is an important component for this to occur.

By kattanna on 12/23/2009 11:22:22 AM , Rating: 2
hey now, dont let the facts be getting in the way of a good delusion...

By nafhan on 12/22/2009 3:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
When will the masses learn that we cannot just populate out of control and expect to be sustainable?
When it stops being sustainable. :)

By Davester on 12/29/2009 6:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
You should probably do more in-depth research yourself. I let the facts speak for themselves. He was actively involved with the company at the same time in which a Congressional Inquiry headed by Senator Feinstein, would benefit his company.

Also, it doesn't sound like it was the first time either. Read the article from the link below:

It was pretty convenient for him not to have the same last name as his wife. And it fooled quite a few people for a while.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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