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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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RE: "...for the people..."
By AEvangel on 12/22/2009 10:49:38 AM , Rating: -1
What is really funny is you happen to use a quote by a President that is arguably responsible for the craptastic Govt we have today.

If Lincoln actually truly believed that statement then it would mean something but since he was a Corporate Lobbyist who only believed in protecting the rights of big Business at the cost of the people, it rigs truly hollow.

Actually comparing Lincoln to Diane I would rather have her then him any day of the week.


RE: "...for the people..."
By Kurz on 12/22/2009 11:01:24 AM , Rating: 1
Dont forget about the fact he established the notion States rights didn't matter.

For all those not in the know.
States Rights come first in the Consistution and had the most power. Until the Civil War when the North won signaling the end of State rights.


RE: "...for the people..."
By jemix on 12/22/2009 11:30:55 AM , Rating: 2
The meaning behind the quote, not Lincoln's broader philosophy, is what I was trying to convey. I agree that much more emphasis needs to be given to States rights, but never at the expense of the Constitution.


RE: "...for the people..."
By sinful on 12/22/2009 11:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
States Rights come first in the Consistution and had the most power. Until the Civil War when the North won signaling the end of State rights.


So, am I to understand you're for states having more Power?
So, for example, you want states like California to be able to set their own emission requirements?


RE: "...for the people..."
By AEvangel on 12/22/2009 1:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you want states like California to be able to set their own emission requirements?


Yes


RE: "...for the people..."
By PitViper007 on 12/22/2009 4:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
They do already. California has some of the toughest emissions standards in the country.


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