Skip to comments.Feinstein seeks monument status for desert swath
Posted on 03/20/2009 7:20:45 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AP) More than 500,000 acres in the Mojave Desert would be off-limits to wind or solar energy production under legislation Sen. Dianne Feinstein intends to introduce. The land is coveted by companies seeking to develop alternative energy, setting up a potential clash with one of the more powerful members of Congress.
The land would seem ideally suited for solar energy production. Nineteen companies have submitted applications to build solar or wind facilities on the property, but such development would violate the spirit of what conservationists had intended when they donated much of the land to the public, said Feinstein, the California Democrat.
The Wildlands Conservancy orchestrated the government's purchase of the land between 1999-2004. It negotiated a discount sale from the real estate arm of the former Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroad and then contributed $40 million to help pay for the purchase. David Myers, the conservancy's executive director, said the solar projects would do great harm to the region's desert tortoise population.
"It would destroy the entire Mojave Desert ecosystem," said David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy.
Feinstein said the lands in question were donated or purchased with the intent that they would be protected forever. But the Bureau of Land Management considers the land now open to all types of development, except mining.
That policy led the state to consider large swaths of the land for future renewable energy production.
"This is unacceptable," Feinstein said in a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. "I urge you to direct the BLM to suspend any further consideration of leases to develop former railroad lands for renewable energy or for any other purpose."
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
I thought they wanted alternative energy?
If you only knew of the long term objectives of some politicos out here. 8-o
The Dems want no energy for America, no matter the source.
They want alternative energy....
As long as they don’t have to see it and as long as stupid birds don’t smash into it.
Probably some toad or rat who would be offended by having a windmill in their back yard. She just trying to protect the little worthless things as usual.
Remember back in the day when libs were screaming about solar power? Now even this is too much for them.
To hell with wind power, open it up to mining!!!!
a little background re: Chocolate Mountain and some landswapping 15 years ago. anything involving dichifi should be highly suspect for motive.
other things may be afoot if the pattern holds.
who wants solar when you can have gold?
THE GREAT GOLD HEIST
The Desert Wilderness Protection Act
by Karen Lee Bixman
FRom December 29, 2003
The Octopus Reborn?
Congress has effectively ran off manufacturing with heavy regulations (under cover of labor costs), spent trillions of dollars (hear that tax train coming?) and will effectively gut our electrical grid with the pseudo-science of Global Hysteria, alternative energy (read non-reliable and expensive) and cap and trade schemes (your electrical bill will double) and the topper will be runaway inflation to eat up any savings you do have. Now that’s CHANGE!! America. You voted for it. Enjoy.
Which is kinda interesting, since their political power is derived from the American economy ... once that economy is wrecked, where will they derive any of their remaining political power from?
Dems are suicidal if ya ask me .....
Which is why the Government shouldn't own land.
I dunno. But isn’t this the BrightSource location? (Tamminen and RFKjrs enterprise)
It looks like this was the land they gave up in exchange for gold in the Chocolate Mountain heist
TWC Projects: California Desert Land Acquisition
To encourage our nations western expansion, in 1864 Congress gave the railroad every other section of public land in a 50-mile swath along what are now Interstate 40 and Route 66. SF Pacific Properties placed billboards reading For Sale or Development across the California desert on these former railroad lands between Barstow and Needles. SF Pacific Properties California holdings represented some of the most pristine and scenic desert lands in the world, with its cinder cones and lava flows, spectacular ranges of rock and flowing sand dunes, vast valleys and intriguing cactus gardens. Private sale of these lands would have severely impacted biological and aesthetic integrity, as well as recreational access for more than 4 million acres of public lands, due to the checker-boarded configuration of the lands owned by SF Pacific Properties.
In July 1999, The Wildlands Conservancy acquired an option on 437,000 acres by negotiating an $18 million discount with the parent company of SF Pacific Properties, Catellus Development Corporation. Thanks to the support of TWC donors, the U.S. Department of the Interior acquired 405,206 acres with $30 million in private monies gifted by TWC and TWCs Wildlands Endowment Fund (WEF), and $15 million in Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) monies. In 2002-2003, TWC and WEF funded the acquisition of an additional 155,583 acres of Catellus land. In 2004, TWC funded the remaining 7,103 acres of Catellus lands. TWC purchased and donated an additional 20,000 acres of Catellus lands located throughout the desert to the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management.
At more than 587,000 acres, The Wildlands Conservancys Catellus acquisition is the largest nonprofit land acquisition donated to the American people in U.S. history. It included funding the acquisition of over 85,000 acres in Mohave National Preserve, over 20,000 acres in Joshua Tree National Park, over 210,000 acres in 20 Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas, and hundreds of thousands of acres of important habitat. This acquisition represents the largest landscape connectivity and wildlife corridor completed with nonprofit funds in North America.
Thanks to the support of our donors, this vast reach of the Mojave Desert will always be open to hikers, campers and sightseers, and will remain a place of beauty, solitude and inspiration for all time to come.
Then they make the sunny and windy places off limits. So, we all get to rely on sunlight to light and warm our houses. Meanwhile, they are probably planning to tax us for that energy and treat it as income. Just like they are going after people who are collecting rainwater.
Yup, May well be .. wow.
Great. So they'll just use "spirit energy" to turn the turbines.
Holy Geez! They even block the wind power!
I seem to be the only one saying this - I am certain that whether directly or through environmental groups, the dems are getting payments from the Saudis and OPEC.
All righty then. Time to drill in ANWR and offshore here in CA. And, BTW, I used to live in the Mojave Desert (China Lake) and its looks would be vastly improved by hundreds of solar panels. There are deserts and there are UGLY deserts.
The Senator says all the “green” projects must be developed somewhere else, though still in this country so we achieve energy independence, but any money appropriated to stimulate “green” projects must be spent in my district. Get it? Got it?
Whereas I say the people who gave away the property got a tax write-off for doing so, and they can kiss my ruddy butt if they think they are entitled to control it having done so. Pass a law to put windmills right there first of all to see if they work. The property is off the tax rolls anyway and probably doing nothing or next to nothing for the common good.
Your clarity is exceptional, LOL.
If stupid birds kill themselves by flying into the windmills, that will improve the species—the smarter birds will pass their DNA to the future generations. Evolution by way of natural selection at work.
That is a keeper. So true.
can we still put a nuclear power plant there?
totally agree with her on this one. Mojave is too pretty for such ugliness.
I think I have advanced sKerry disease, I waffle a lot lately.
This means the area in question is not exceptional. My only beef is that "wind&solar" are likely to be just one more worthless batch of boondoggles and even ordinary desert lands don't need to be wasted on nothing.
So Fineswine is a NIMBY. Maybe we can lock her and Crazy Uncle Teddy up in the attic together and let them duke it out.
Or perhaps Feinstein has friends who would benefit from the wind/solar energy contracts going to a second-choice site.
California produces only one third of the energy it consumes.
I say cut them off — no more imports of oil, coal or electricity from other states.
If they can’t make enough for themselves, from their own resources — tough.
“I thought they wanted alternative energy?”
I saw this coming from a mile away... as I posted earlier this month.
“And, besides the economic fairy tales propagandized by the environazis, theres another fable that will be punctured as soon as widespread development of this so called green energy starts - the fable that this is less environmentally invasive than conventional power sources. Once thousands of square miles of fragile, pristine desert and prairie start getting trampled on, dug up, and covered with solar panels, windmills and transmission lines you will hear the same activist ignoramuses howl against that which they were pushing when it didnt exist. (They love energy that doesnt exist!)”
Ok what's the story behind that?
In a speech last year, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger complained about environmental concerns slowing down the approval of solar plants in California.
"If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it," Schwarzenegger said at Yale University.
I say we put the solar panels on her house in SF. It’s big enough.
Take a look at coincidences in solar power deal
Argus, The (Fremont-Newark, CA) - Thursday, October 16, 2008
Author: MediaNews editorial
THERE IS A fascinating relationship tied to a breakthrough solar-energy complex near the Mojave Desert Preserve. What is significant about this is the players involved stand to make a handsome sum of money becoming the first solar-generating station on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land.
A report by The Associated Press mapped out a relationship that goes as high as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and as broad as some of the nation’s most successful companies, including San Ramon-based Chevron Corp. and Mountain View-based Google. At stake is a project that could be in the forefront of solar power at a time when the nation faces high fuel costs and potential climate change. Research shows a project like this, with sunlight reflecting off more than 200,000 mirrors in the desert, could potentially power the nation.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is cousin to first lady Maria Shriver and Terry Tamminen was state Environmental Protection Secretary under Schwarzenegger. The two were named senior advisers at Silicon Valley-based VantagePoint Venture Partners last year. VantagePoint has a major stake in Oakland-based startup BrightSource Energy, which is planning to spend $2 billion to construct solar power plants along the Nevada border, and has locked up a deal to sell electricity to PG&E, enough to power 321,000 homes annually. While Kennedy and Tamminen are not working on the BrightSource application submitted to the state a year ago, they still stand to profit greatly if the projects gets the go-ahead from state regulators.
Meanwhile, VantagePoint is BrightSource ‘s biggest investor, utilizing financing from Chevron Technology Ventures, Google.org and J.P. Morgan. Chevron has donated more than $690,000 to Schwarzenegger’s political ventures, and VantagePoint executives have also donated directly or indirectly to the governor. Is it a coincidence that Schwarzenegger has been pushing hard for Californians toward solar power? Is it a coincidence that Schwarzenegger was at center stage at a conference for Mexican and U.S. governors where Kennedy gave an endorsement for BrightSource ? Is it a coincidence that Schwarzenegger introduced BrightSource CEO John Woolard, who is also a senior adviser at VantagePoint, at the governors conference in August?
Brightsource is one of those “bipartisan” fleecings. It’s one of Terry Tamminen and RFJjr’s solar investments that will rake in the rewards of Arnie’s environmental programs (that Tamminen and RFKjr wrote/implemented). Sweet deal, eh?
They’re lining up to use BLM land, I forget the exact location.
Funny thing is that you can build a coal plant on a couple hundred acres almost anywhere — even cities. They are generally pretty good neighbors and don’t cause much disruption to the local area.
A major solar plant will take up hundreds of square miles of wilderness to produce the same level of energy.
RFJjrs should be RFKjr’s
I’m to damn tired to investigate anything today.