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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: Watermelon
By ImJustSaying on 12/22/2009 5:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
I know it's fun and convenient to scapegoat entire portions of the population, since it provides a nice, simple answer to an incredibly complex situation, as well as gives it a 'face' at which you may point blame, however, it's misguided at best to do so.

If you cared to think about human need, you would understand that borders do not mean much to people who are in desperate need of employment in order to survive. In addition, with regard to Mexico, international trade agreements (predominantly NAFTA), have uprooted millions of subsistence farmers in mid to southern Mexico, who have since migrated to where jobs exist, which happen to be in the US.

You also imply that you are ok with those who have come before you to the states, since they are already here and you had no say in the matter. Since you also had no say on when and how "the Mexicans," as you put it, arrived you should also be ok with 'them' being here.

It's clear that there needs to be immigration reform that focuses on streamlining and decreasing the time it takes to achieve citizenship for those immigrants who work honestly and do not have run-ins with law enforcement. Adjustments also need to be made in order to give immigrants greater protection against exploitation and subsistence wage, so that employers are not able to use sub-minimum wage labor to then drive down the wages of other citizens and non-citizens alike, by generating an uneven playing field.

International trade law needs to be structured so that it does not force mass migration of labor across borders, upon adoption of laws. There also needs to be a corresponding free-flow of labor with a free-flow of capital. We have the latter, but not the former.

RE: Watermelon
By rcc on 12/22/2009 6:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
Can't speak for the OP, but... most people in CA or NM, Tx, etc. who objective to the mass migration of illegal aliens aren't racist. There are obvious exceptions.

What we object to is that they are illegal. Don't pay taxes, and suck up a boat load of social and medical services. Those people that are "ok" because they came before? Sure, if they entered legally and became part of American society, for better or worse.

If you don't live in one of the affected states, you have no clue what the problem is like.

For the record, most of illegals I have met are busting their butts to support themselves and families, that's great. So get them in the system, and quit thinking of excuses why no one should be concerned because they are draining the states resources.

RE: Watermelon
By ImJustSaying on 12/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: Watermelon
By rcc on 12/23/2009 3:01:02 PM , Rating: 1
For the record, I also live in San Diego County.

Beyond that, I'm not always sure that your responses are actually to my posts.

However, betwen you, me, the gate post, and anyone else that wants to listen.... I believe that if a child is born to 2 illegal aliens/immigrants, it should not automatically be given citizenship. If the parents are in the country legally, that's a different story. Fortunately we live in a country were the people sorta get to decide what they want, and we'll have to see if they as a whole get annoyed enough to get the laws changed. Until then, everything will remain as you appear to want it.

I am not trying to demonize anyone. And I realize that these people are vital to many economies. In fact, I'm glad to have them. Just get them legalized and functioning with/in society.

RE: Watermelon
By ImJustSaying on 12/23/2009 7:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your last sentence. :-)

RE: Watermelon
By Solandri on 12/23/2009 12:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
What we object to is that they are illegal. Don't pay taxes, and suck up a boat load of social and medical services. Those people that are "ok" because they came before? Sure, if they entered legally and became part of American society, for better or worse.

I helped run a business in an area with a large migrant population, and had lots of discussions with immigration attorneys about covering our @$$ses from an INS raid.

If an illegal immigrant gets a job using forged documents (SSN, INS ID) that look real, that's usually sufficient protection for the hiring company. Illegal immigrants hired this way do pay taxes and social security. Their payroll is processed as if they were a legit worker, so they get SS, medicare, and income tax withheld from their paycheck.

The illegal immigrants who don't pay taxes are the ones being paid under the table in cash. Cash transactions leave no paper trail, and thus there are no taxes paid. In those cases, the company that hired them knows that they are illegal, and is complicit in the activity. So although my viewpoints are conservative when it comes to business, I'm with the left on this one. One of the most efficacious way to clamp down on the problem would be track down and penalize companies which knowingly hire illegals.

RE: Watermelon
By knutjb on 12/23/2009 1:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
But identity theft is ok! I don't buy it. The gov is partly at fault but so are employers who strive to under pay the market wages through abuse of illegal workers to line their own pockets. Also the little they pay in taxes is offset by the money sent south and the massive drain on the services provided by legal workers. i.e. every year its estimated LA county spends over 1B extra to deal with illeagal children in the school system alone. But hey you have a busness to run...

RE: Watermelon
By JonnyDough on 12/24/2009 1:13:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well said. Precisely my point. :) And no, I have nothing against anyone of any race, culture or creed. Simply put, I want better for myself and my children. Although this is a "free nation" we have standards of living that we would like to continue. What we ought to do is toughen up on people who lack credentials. Why should we pay for healthcare for people who come into our country illegally and then can't speak our language and support themselves? Do you think that if you go to Mexico and get in an accident and demand to be taken care of they will treat you? Not for free bud. President Felipe Calderón isn't going to take tax money and start healing Americans who come down there wanting a better life. Although under your "justification" we ought to send our inmates there. That way they get a second chance at life like so many illegals coming here, and then we don't have to pay to feed and keep them in our prisons. We need to start making sure that people are legal, or simply make sure they have the cash. At the same time, toughen up on gangs and drugs. THAT is where the money ought to be going. Law enforcement.

RE: Watermelon
By JonnyDough on 12/24/2009 1:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
Oops, not your under your justification, his justification. I forgot who I was responding to for a second. :(

RE: Watermelon
By Solandri on 12/23/2009 1:19:11 AM , Rating: 2
If you cared to think about human need, you would understand that borders do not mean much to people who are in desperate need of employment in order to survive.

You're focusing on the symptom, not the problem. The real problem is corruption in the Mexican government. They country is pretty rich, with oil reserves that rank it #11 in the world, and it has a per capita GDP of ~$14,000 (PPP). But the high level of corruption has concentrated the money and power in a small fraction of the population. It has a rather high Gini coefficient of close to 50. Most Western countries, including Western Europe, Canada, Japan, and South Korea, are in the 20s or 30s. The U.S. is around 45, but that's offset by its $47,000 per capita GDP - even the poor people are relatively wealthy.

In addition, with regard to Mexico, international trade agreements (predominantly NAFTA), have uprooted millions of subsistence farmers in mid to southern Mexico, who have since migrated to where jobs exist, which happen to be in the US.

Eh? That's a new one. All the complaints I've heard about NAFTA so far were that it sent U.S. jobs to Mexico. Not vice versa.

Accepting immigrants from Mexico with open arms may temporarily ease the symptom, but it worsens the problem. The real solution is for the Mexican government to get its act cleaned up. And ultimately that sort of domestic issue needs to be solved domestically - by discontent Mexican citizens standing up for their rights and demanding change. Simply giving discontent Mexican citizens easier access to U.S. citizenship actually hurts that goal.

The point of open trade agreements like NAFTA is to provide an economic stimulus, increasing the standard of living in countries like Mexico and China. A subsistence farmer making $100 a year is not going to wield much clout with his government. But turn him into a middle-class worker earning $10,000 a year and suddenly things change.

RE: Watermelon
By ImJustSaying on 12/23/2009 7:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
NAFTA allowed multinational agricultural companies full access to Mexican agricultural land. These corporations then either purchased or took the land that the subsistence farmers were renting/living on, and concentrated farming. Sure, they streamlined farming processes and increased efficiency and food output, which has its own merit and value, however, they helped displace millions of people that had to go somewhere for work. That's my point; the displacement of families has contributed to the massive influx of Mexican immigrants, legally and illegally, to the US.

The issue of corruption is yet another problem that exacerbates the general poverty and disfunction of Mexico's government and populace.

We don't seem to disagree, really.

RE: Watermelon
By JonnyDough on 12/24/2009 1:05:12 AM , Rating: 2
What then say you to the kids who can't find summer jobs and then end up having to work instead of go to college? Would you prefer that Mexicans kids go to college instead of your own children?

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