Skip to comments.In a Small Fish, a Large Lesson In Renewable Energy's Obstacles Article Comments
Posted on 06/16/2009 10:08:55 AM PDT by reaganaut1
President Barack Obama wants to boost the nation's production of energy from the sun as part of an effort to double renewable power generation in three years. Among the obstacles to Mr. Obama's agenda: the imperiled Devil's Hole pupfish.
Patrick Putnam is a field manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in southern Nevada. His job is to help the government decide whether the dozens of solar-energy projects that companies have proposed building on federal land in his jurisdiction pose undue environmental risks.
After reviewing some applications for as long as 18 months, Mr. Putnam's office hasn't approved any. He says his office hopes to make decisions on at least three by the end of 2010, but that will be "a monumental task."
View Full Image
Associated Press (2)
Scientists study rock pools that are home to the Devil's Hole pupfish, above. Across the West, companies that want to build renewable energy projects are rushing to stake claims on public land, hoping to grab federal subsidies and take advantage of state mandates that require utilities to obtain more power from renewable sources. The surge is straining the Bureau of Land Management, which is more accustomed to processing permit requests from oil and natural gas companies.
The logjam highlights a dilemma for the Obama administration: how to speed the transition to a clean-energy economy -- a shift the president has promised will create millions of jobs -- without trampling the legacy of a previous generation of conservationists, who left in place federal laws and regulations designed to control exploitation of federal lands or protect the habitats of endangered species.
Many of the projects that the government is considering allowing on public land use a system known as concentrating solar power.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The pupfish may turn out to be the AGW alarmists’ spotted owl.
Seriously, why doesn’t someone investigate the potential (pun intended) of harvesting the electricity in lightning? Since this potential is ubiquitous and contained within the troposhere, a gigantic capacitor with the tropopause as its anode and the ground as its cathode, it should seem obvious that all that is needed is a way to induce it at will and then harness it.
That cute li’l pupfish is a dead ringer for a popular baitfish in our area- the killifish (killie, kelly, mummichog and probably lots of other local names). I’ll bet they are close cousins. Killies are tough little buggers and can survive in fresh, brackish and salt water, from just above freezing to downright warm.
If every last pupfish dies off, what other harm will be done? Will another species die off because they only eat pupfish? Will the remaining waters fill with algae because the pupfish are not there eating it?
If necessary, we could dump a few buckets of killies there to replace them. But if the pups are tough as killies, my money’s on them to survive.