Wednesday, March 16, 2011

California Environmentalists Block Solar Power Plant

Fringe Toed Lizard was saved!
They tell us that Solar Energy is the answer. 
Coal is bad for Mother Earth, Nuclear Energy is way too dangerous, oil and natural gas shouldn't be burned because they cause Global Warming, and Hydroelectric Dams disturb fish habitats.

They say we should be using Solar Power instead. 
It's really the only thing left. Even President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya, says we must use solar power.
But... environmental groups were worried that a massive solar project in the Mojave will threaten protected wildlife, like the fringe-toed lizard. So they forced the builder to shut down the project that would have provided plenty of electricity for Southern California.
Tessera Solar had planned to plant 34,000 solar dishes — each one 40 feet high and 38 feet wide — on 8,230 acres of the Mojave Desert in Southern California. This solar plant was scheduled to come online next year.

However several environmental groups raised red flags about the massive project’s impact on such protected wildlife as the desert tortoise, the Mojave fringe-toed lizard and Nelson’s bighorn sheep. They were joined in this by labor unions that wanted the project halted because they were hiring non union workers.

Thanks to the nonstop lawsuits and harassment, the project has now been canceled.  Tessera Solar North America, Inc. sold its as yet undeveloped Calico Solar Project near Barstow, Calif., to K Road Power Holdings, LLC.

Originally Tessera had planned to build an 850 megawatt SunCatcher-based power plant at the Calico location. In a press release announcing the sale, K Road said it plans to build an 850 megawatt plant, but will only use 100 megawatts of SunCatchers. The remainder of the project will consist of 750 megawatts of photovoltaics.

Calico was one of dozens of industrial-scale solar farms planned for the Southwest that have divided environmentalists over the need to promote renewable energy while protecting fragile desert ecosystems.

But the sheer size of the Calico project, as well as its location next to federal conservation areas, drew scrutiny from grassroots green activists and national organizations like the Defenders of Wildlife.

Diane Feinstein says "NO"
Also jumping into the fray was a well-funded labor group that presses solar developers to employ union workers, and the Wildlands Conservancy.

This is a Southern California non-profit that supports a proposal by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, to ban renewable energy development on hundreds of thousands of acres of the Mojave adjacent to Calico.

The labor group, called California Unions for Reliable Energy, sent an attorney and biologist to testify at the hearing. The group has come under fire for inundating developers who decline to sign labor agreements with demands that they conduct scores of costly environmental studies on their solar projects.

California Unions for Reliable Energy has taken a particularly aggressive stance in the Calico case, dispatching its own biologist to investigate the project site. At the hearing, the biologist, Scott Cashen, accused Tessera Solar of providing scientifically invalid data in its license application as well as underestimating the solar farm’s consequences for wildlife.

You can read about the project cancellation here.

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