Skip to comments.ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPPOSE OBAMA PLAN TO DEVELOP SOLAR ENERGY
Posted on 09/13/2012 2:25:51 PM PDT by neverdem
The Obama administration has identified 285,000 acres of western public lands on which to create solar zones and develop the alternative energy source, but the plan faces opposition from environmentalists who say it will harm the planet.
The blueprint for the solar energy zones calls for 17 large-scale projects that it predicts would create 5,900 megawatts of energy to provide electricity to nearly two million homes.
Developing Americas solar energy resource is an important part of President (Barack) Obamas commitment to expanding American-made energy, increasing energy security and creating jobs, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement announcing the plan.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says their plan will facilitate a faster and smarter utility-scale development on land that has been deemed suitable for solar projects.
This is a key milestone in building a sustainable foundation for utility-scale solar energy development and conservation on public lands over the next two decades, Salazar said in the July 24th joint statement.
The plan also calls for additional solar development on 19 million acres of so-called variance areas outside of the solar zones. In total, it could create enough renewable energy to power seven million homes, federal officials say.
But several environmental groups led by the Western Lands Project (WLP) filed a protest with the Interior Department on Aug. 24 calling the plan deficient, citing evidence they say suggests that disturbing the soil will release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
No scientific evidence has been presented to support the claim that these projects reduce greenhouse emissions, the WLP said. Indeed, recent evidence suggests that the opposite may be true. Recent work at the Center for Conservation Biology, University of California, Riverside, suggests that soil disturbance from large-scale solar development may disrupt Pleistocene-era caliche deposits that release carbon to the atmosphere when exposed to the elements, negating any solar development gains.
The groups also cite the relocation or other mitigation efforts to offset the effects on threatened and endangered species as a severe, unresolved concern. Those species include the Mojave fringe-toed lizard, flat-tailed horned lizard, golden eagle, desert bighorn and desert tortoise.
Environmentalists say they are concerned the solar zones will devastate one of the last remaining floristic frontiers in the United States.
Instead of public landscapes, the environmentalists want the solar projects to be constructed on the rooftops of residential and commercial buildings and parking lots.
By converting public lands to industrial energy factories in fragile, remote areas with massive requirements for transmission at great cost to ratepayers and the environment, our renewable energy policy is taking the least enlightened path possible, while attempting to create the illusion of innovation and progress, WLP said.
The solar zones are located in six states including California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah on property controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.
Constructing the solar projects on the public lands chosen will provide good potential for transmission and relatively low conflict with nature as well as cultural and historic resources, federal officials say. Excluding 78 million acres from any solar development would protect other natural resources.
However, environmentalists say that is not enough.
Massive solar power plants pose irreversible, long-term, cumulative ecosystem and species level threats to fragile desert and grassland biomes, says the environmental groups that include WLP, Basin and Range Watch, and Solar Done Right.
In their protest filed with the government, the groups said their activities on public lands, including hiking, camping, photography and studying plants and wildlife would be harmed if solar energy were developed on the affected public land.
Solar energy projects like the uncredited pic or solar panels on buildings require a maximum of surface area for the photoelectric effect or you're spinning your wheels. It's simple physics.
The pathetic EcoPinheads and their supporters should be shipped to mecca for a lesson in ignorance.
How do they not choke on all the buzzwords? They’re thicker than smog.
These morons will not be happy until we are all back to living in the stone age.
Solar panels are obnoxious. Wind turbines are loud, just as obnoxious and kill over 400,000 birds (mostly raptors) per year in the United States.
They say we need solar power, but then block the projects because they might have an adverse environmental impact and because they’re eyesores.
They say we need massive wind farms, but then block them because they’re eyesores, surprisingly efficient at killing birds, and quite loud.
They advocate geothermal energy, but block the projects because they might adversely affect groundwater.
They say we should use tidal power systems, but then shoot down every proposed location due to aesthetic and environmental concerns.
About the only thing they haven’t proposed then blocked is using corn for ethanol, which is of course driving up food prices and causing shortages in the third world where we used to send our excess crop.
My personal favorite instance is how the libs living in Martha’s Vineyard were the fiercest advocates of offshore wind farms until it turned out that the best location in the country for one is off Martha’s Vineyard. Then they suddenly had high-minded reasons for stopping the Cape Wind Project, nothing more than chagrined, disguised NIMBY, of course.
How long until they propose magic happy pixie dust as an alternative energy source, but then block the fairy ranching operations..? ;p
In Israel solar hot water heating is almost standard.
Putting the “mental” in “environmental”. Just released some greenhouse gasses at the screen.
Eyesore is putting it mildly. I wonder if that monstrosity can be seen from orbit.
Further PROOF that environmentalists do not want ANY solution.
I love when the “save the earth” solar people and the “save the earth” environmentalists try to eat each other.
I hope they both win.
Does this opposition prove that the “green energy” push is really an effort to deny people energy altogether?
This is why the cult of global warming is losing momentum with the people, environmentalists always construct no win situations, when people can’t win they just do what they want. Enviros complain about every form of energy, every form of getting your food from the store to home, every form of transportation.
Their preferred solution is for 95% of humans to die and leave the Earth in peace...