Too good to check: Environmentalists upset at the rush to build solar projects

posted at 1:11 pm on April 6, 2012 by Tina Korbe

You thought I was against taxpayer subsidies to companies like BrightSource and NextEra because I have a principled objection to energy subsidies in general? No, no, no: I don’t like subsidies to BrightSource and NextEra because they’re hurting the environment.

Desert activists vigorously oppose the BrightSource Energy project in the east Mojave’s Ivanpah Valley and NextEra’s Genesis solar plant 20 miles west of Blythe. National groups have not mounted a strong challenge to either project.

When BrightSource was planning the Ivanpah installation, the big environmental players urged the firm to move the bulk of the project closer to Interstate 5 to avoid prime habitat for the desert tortoise, a protected species. The company responded by reducing its total footprint by 12%, which didn’t solve the problem.

After construction began, large numbers of desert tortoises were discovered. According to federal biologists, BrightSource is now responsible for relocating and caring for 95% of all the tortoises expected to be found on all solar project sites in the Mojave.

Some rank-and-file Sierra Club members had wanted to sue to stop the project altogether, but the group’s national board of directors vetoed that proposal in favor of a more neutral approach. …

On the Genesis project, the Sierra Club and others met with NextEra executives and urged the company to abandon its plans for the site out of concern that it is too close to a wilderness area. In addition, local groups warned the developer that the site contained sensitive cultural resources.

The project went ahead, only to become embroiled in controversy over the discovery of Native American cultural artifacts that halted construction on one-fifth of the site.

The in-fighting between local and national environmentalists, between those whose priority is protecting a desert close to home and those whose priority is fostering solar development across the country, is instructive. The local environmentalists tell us all we need to know about major environmentalist groups. Appropriately, locals call the national groups “Gang Green” — and they do seem to bully littler environmentalists around. Gang Green says it’s willing to “sacrifice the desert to save the world” — i.e. preserving the desert should take a back seat to halting the effects of climate change — but it also just so happens that grants for projects focusing on climate change and energy have become the top-two funded issues in environmental philanthropy. Major groups like the Sierra Club flat-out can’t afford to care about the desert. They have to remain inviting to major foundations.

In all seriousness, that’s fine by me: Even organizations like the Sierra Club have to keep an eye on the bottom line or they’ll be out of existence in short order. It’s the hypocrisy — and the forced subsidization of projects that do as much harm as good to both the economy and the environment — that grows old.


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FLUKE THEM!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Thanks, Tina.

Rusty Allen on April 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Hey!

Let’s let these same morons run everyone’s health care!

What could possibly go wrong?

Good Lt on April 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Sorry! Shouldn’t say that on Good Friday!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

These people are nuts. Stop using oil and gas. Go wind and solar. Now, stop using solar. If they had their way, we would all be living in earthen hovels, clothed in loincloth and cooking by candle light. While their ideals are lofty (I guess), they still remain part of the useful idiot 5th column in this country.

HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Gang Green says it’s willing to “sacrifice the desert to save the world”

Kind of like the liberal mantra to sacrifice the babyfetus to save the mother from a “burden”.

Bitter Clinger on April 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Is there anyone left who truly doesn’t think these environmentalists are complete idiots?

It’s telling that conservatives are so often blamed for impeding progress and acting like founding members of the Flat-Earth Society and, yet, the folks on the left want everything in America’s energy policy to come to a screeching halt….

powerpickle on April 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Funny! If you need me for anything. Saws are sharp and I’m off to cut down so trees and turn them into something man made.

Bmore on April 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

The local environmentalists tell us all we need to know about major environmentalist groups. Appropriately, locals call the national groups “Gang Green” — and they do seem to bully littler environmentalists around.

Like a male polar bear eating its young.

Bitter Clinger on April 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

so=some

Bmore on April 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Sorry! Shouldn’t say that on Good Friday!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Uh huh, I saw that. You’d better hope someone else didn’t.

Bmore on April 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM

“Big Solar kills tortoises!” Why does Obama hate tortoises?

If they had their way, we would all be living in earthen hovels, clothed in loincloth and cooking by candle light.
HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I’ve been saying this for years. Family and friends think I’m crazy.

Brat on April 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Energy Luddism strikes again!

As in all things though, I tend to side with the locals. They have the most immediate vested interest in the area, and I’d wager they live far more frugal lives than “Gang Green” as they describe them. I don’t mind being chastized by a misguided low-rank climate minister down the street. I have a huge problem being criticized by the Climate Pope from his Sierra Club funded Lear jet.

BKennedy on April 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Even though many of the people who call themselves environmentalists would be outraged to hear it, environmentalism is, at its core, anti-human. The philosophy sees mankind as unnatural and inherently harmful to the rest of the world. So long as we are not living like animals they will find something to be outraged about.

We could find a way to run cars on pixie dust and they would protest that we were exploiting pixies.

Boogeyman on April 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I have a friend who works for NPS. They are always getting sued over petty stuff. If they want to repave the parking lot they get sued by some group claiming it is the habitat for some little wildflower. It doesn’t matter that the ground is already disturbed. Nor does it matter that the flower is prolific in areas where the ground has been disturbed.

Blake on April 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

We all know that Liberalism is a mental disease but environmentalism is a mental disease on steroids.

jukin3 on April 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Major groups like the Sierra Club flat-out can’t afford to care about the desert. They have to remain inviting to major foundations

…it would be nice to start going after these major foundations and the people who give money to the Sierra Club, when they get moonbat crazy. The right needs to get in the boycott game.

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Well, if you subsribe to the theory that these enviun-ists (van jones?) have an agenda where militant enviornmentalism is just a vehicle rather than a destination, this doesn’t seem so idiotic.

Durka-Durka on April 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM

If we tied 1,000 environmentalists to desert solar panels and leave them there, it’s my theory that we will generate enough electricity to power the entire country for 1,000 years.

If not, we’ll untie them. In a year or so.

NoDonkey on April 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Well after the local environmentalists turn California in to a desert, can the national ones move in and install the solar panels? Then we open the borders and hire all the illegals to keep the solar panels polished. Problem(s) solved!

Ukiah on April 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Luddite marxist freaks.

totherightofthem on April 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM

We have an energy policy that is ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Except for coal, that’s dirty, stop all coal and shut down existing plants.

Oh, and oil? We need to stop pipelines and restrict access to government lands and reduce supply.. but there are tons of other options.

Nuclear… ARE YOU CRAZY? we’re working our best to avoid having the waste put anywhere ever… and you want more? NO.

Natural Gas… um, have you heard for fracking; NO natural gas, it’s not safe enough.

Hydro? Nope, we’re tearing down dams for the good of the fish. Hydro is bad an d evil and against nature and we have to stop it.

Wind? Sorry kills endangered birds, and doesn’t look nice… NIMBY on your wind.

Solar? NO, the deserts are pristine and must never be touched.

But “all of the above”… except of course for any of the above.

Lets be honest; NONE OF THE ABOVE is closer to reality. But we will try to force people to use more electricity by plugging in their cars as we remove supply. Blackouts and failing power grids are awesome.

gekkobear on April 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

You know.. I think I have had enough of the BS enviro-wacko’s.

Lets do this. Tell them that if they don’t like THEIR ideas of solar panels to energized Humans (since the tortoise would probably love some shade in the desert anyways) Tell these tree hugging bunny humpers to take off all their clothes, because they are made from energy from either, wind, solar, water dams or coal, leave their homes which are made with oil products, and go live in a mud shack and eat a farking tree branch and try to start a fire with a branch.

If they don’t like that, tell them Tuff Moose Nuggets, and get a life other than blaming everyone for an environmental genocide, when they have yet to die do to the environment.

upinak on April 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If they had their way, we would all be living in earthen hovels, clothed in loincloth and cooking by candle light.

HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

You really think they will allow candles…?

Seven Percent Solution on April 6, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Grizzly bears don’t care about pipelines and tortoises don’t care about solar panels. It doesn’t affect the populations one iota.

phxconservative on April 6, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Whenever I’ve been to other blogs and argued about the toxic nature of wind turbines and their damage caused by chopping half a million birds to bits every year they state something like 500 million birds are killed by cats and should we try to get rid of every cat in America.

It supports my contention that they’re perfectly willing to see animals die if it supports their views, and so does this post.

Hypocrites.

itsspideyman on April 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM

The project that went broke in Blythe earlier this week was over 5000 acres of desert habitat destroyed by solar panels. Remove the sunlight from that ground and start adding water that is used to wash the panels of dust, and you completely change the environment there.

crosspatch on April 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

When a new company is founded via government grant, who gets paid?: Lawyers
When that company is sued to stop building stuff, who gets paid (on both sides)?: Lawyers
When that company gets investigated by the SEC, who gets paid?: Lawyers
When that company goes bankrupt, who gets paid?: Lawyers

Who are consistantly in the top-ten of donors to Democrats? Take a guess.

(you can have the same bit of fun with healthcare, government regulations, etc.)

29Victor on April 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Can anybody make the delta smelt grow legs?

VietVet_Dave on April 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Not in my backyard desert!

DavidW on April 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Hypocrites.

itsspideyman on April 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM

I use to work up ont he north slope of Alaska. These environmental dipsticks would come up each year to “count the birds”. Only problem is, for these hard core environmentalists, they would leave TRASH everywhere they went AND blame it on the oil workers. I got pictures one summer of a group leaving trash and when someone asked why there was a pile of trash on the tundra (which is a no-no punishable with jail time), they blamed the oil workers like usual. I showed the pictures I had taken…. and these wacko’s have were kicked out and banned from coming back to Alaska.

They will do and say anything to get out of “being in trouble” like a two year old and blame everything on everyone.

upinak on April 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Meanwhile, the Chinese are building coal powered powerplants as fast as humanly possible – without the environmentalist’s precious pollution controls.

But since the ChiComs would throw them into a gulag, then chop them up to sell their organs – they’re nitpicking every single possible way here.

Rebar on April 6, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I like tortoises.

esnap on April 6, 2012 at 1:44 PM

TheyObama will do and say anything to get out of “being in trouble” like a two year old and blame everything on everyone.

upinak on April 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

FIFY

VietVet_Dave on April 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Almost as much fun as Olbey and Current.

davidk on April 6, 2012 at 1:46 PM

FIFY

VietVet_Dave on April 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

good catch!

upinak on April 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Environmentalists haven’t got a chance against Big Solar.

Tzetzes on April 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I like tortoises.

esnap on April 6, 2012 at 1:44 PM

….for soup?

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

So finally – the big enviro-wacko (un)civil war begins….

dentarthurdent on April 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

environmentalism is, at its core, anti-human. The philosophy sees mankind as unnatural and inherently harmful to the rest of the world. So long as we are not living like animals they will find something to be outraged about.

Boogeyman on April 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Twenty years ago a young man invited me out to dinner. When I mentioned over dinner that I was thinking of studying to be a doctor, he told me that medicine was an awful profession. Why? Because doctors keep people from dying, and people are a cancer on the planet!

Armorica on April 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

As usual, enviromental wacko’s want it both ways.

BMF on April 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Tortoise soup.

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

There’s a screenshot of this article next to the word “ironic” in the dictionary.

princetrumpet on April 6, 2012 at 2:03 PM

All climate communists and enviro-nazis should be rounded up and shipped to Anarctica. They can start their own government and use solar and wind energy to their hearts content.

darwin on April 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I have a friend who works for NPS. They are always getting sued over petty stuff. If they want to repave the parking lot they get sued by some group claiming it is the habitat for some little wildflower. It doesn’t matter that the ground is already disturbed. Nor does it matter that the flower is prolific in areas where the ground has been disturbed.

Blake on April 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Because the taxpayer pays the attorney fees for the enviros.

old school on April 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Ah! Liberals. Once again showing more concern and passion for the desert tortoise than they do for an unborn child.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Picking of nits department:

From the posting

…forced subsidization of projects…

What’s wrong with ‘subsidy’? It’s a perfectly good noun.

Peri Winkle on April 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

I called this play 20 years ago. It was only a matter of time before the eco-wackos figured out that solar power will deprive large areas of land of sunlight and turn against it. Can’t use nuclear because it’s unsafe. Can’t use oil because it’s toxic. Can’t use coal because it’s dirty. Can’t use natural gas because of the CO2. Can’t use wind because it kills the birds. Can’t use hydroelectric because it kills the fish. Can’t use tidal because it ruins the coast. Can’t use geothermal because it causes earthquakes. Can’t use solar because it ruins the desert. I can’t wait for them to find something wrong with Osmotic power.

Browncoatone on April 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I can’t wait for them to find something wrong with Osmotic power.

Browncoatone on April 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

killing the saline content will kill the sea water and kill the fish. yells an enviro-nut.

Wanna bet this is the new cry of stupid?

upinak on April 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Just like their concern of the killing of raptors by the windmills. They will sacrifice tortoses for political purposes. These people should be called out for what they are. I say we issue tags for them and make it an open season no bag limit.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on April 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

the desert tortoise, a protected species

After construction began, large numbers of desert tortoises were discovered.

Am I missing something? Perhaps “the desert tortoise, a protected species known for it’s speed in eluding environmentalist surveyors” or “the desert tortoise, a protected species known for breeding like jack rabbits in future construction zones”

I propose construction workers be use for the next survey of desert tortoise population instead of environmentalist. Or we could just declare each survey site a proposed energy production zone prior to the survey and watch the numbers soar.

Unquiet on April 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Let’s let these same morons run everyone’s health care!

What could possibly go wrong?

Good Lt on April 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

+1

talkingpoints on April 6, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Oh, believe me, it’s true. We get the news on it all the time around here, in the area known by some as “Solar Central,” and by others as “Our Fragile Desert Environment.”

I say we drill, refine, and use cheap fossil fuels to power an abundant, creative life until they get themselves sorted out. Who’s with me?

J.E. Dyer on April 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Unquiet on April 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

too funny!

Armorica on April 6, 2012 at 3:03 PM

The ‘national’ headquarters (usually in DC) have a vested interest in remaining silent. It’s called “Don’t rock the boat” if you want to get invited to parties.

GarandFan on April 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Oh, believe me, it’s true. We get the news on it all the time around here, in the area known by some as “Solar Central,” and by others as “Our Fragile Desert Environment.”

I say we drill, refine, and use cheap fossil fuels to power an abundant, creative life until they get themselves sorted out. Who’s with me?

J.E. Dyer on April 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

As a Resident of San Diego Country I always have a good laugh when I hear the phrase, “Our Fragile Desert Environment.” Desert’s are not fragile environments. They are brutally inhospitable environments. Mans encroachment into any desert environment always has one singular consequence, and that is that the previously brutally inhospitable environment becomes considerably less brutally inhospitable.

So yea, man does tend to destroy desert environments, he makes then less inhospitable and less desert and more abundant in the life in them and the diversity of that life.

SWalker on April 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Solar panel installations take up large swaths of desert land, and they are harmful to the Fragile Desert Environment–

I’ll give them that one in trade for less than 0.1% of a barren wasteland in Alaska can support the extraction of enough energy equivalent to hundreds of solar panel installations.

Now, that’s downright environmentally responsible, no?

NOMOBO on April 6, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Oh, believe me, it’s true. We get the news on it all the time around here, in the area known by some as “Solar Central,” and by others as “Our Fragile Desert Environment.”

I say we drill, refine, and use cheap fossil fuels to power an abundant, creative life until they get themselves sorted out. Who’s with me?

J.E. Dyer on April 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Is there a single acre in our nation that the environmentalist don’t claim is ‘fragile’ or ‘delicate’?

slickwillie2001 on April 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I predicted this at a familiy gathering several years ago, to the derision of all my moonbat relatives. My Easter Sunday dinner could include a special side dish for them this year – sliced crow, served with a tasty schadenfreud sauce.

drunyan8315 on April 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I called this play 20 years ago. It was only a matter of time before the eco-wackos figured out that solar power will deprive large areas of land of sunlight and turn against it. Can’t use nuclear because it’s unsafe. Can’t use oil because it’s toxic. Can’t use coal because it’s dirty. Can’t use natural gas because of the CO2. Can’t use wind because it kills the birds. Can’t use hydroelectric because it kills the fish. Can’t use tidal because it ruins the coast. Can’t use geothermal because it causes earthquakes. Can’t use solar because it ruins the desert. I can’t wait for them to find something wrong with Osmotic power.

Browncoatone on April 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

When all else fails, and we are far from that point, the envirofascists can always shout ‘thermal pollution’, ie the heat invariably generated by the use of energy, no matter the source of that energy.

If an alien civilization gifted us a black box that would provide us unlimited energy output with no inputs of any kind, the envirofascists would fight it tooth and nail.

slickwillie2001 on April 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Durbin Says We MUST Buy Hybrid Cars Because Of Tornadoes: “It’s Your Money Or Your Life”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/04/06/durbin_on_spending_to_fight_global_warming_its_your_money_or_your_life.html

Q1: Dick, why were there tornadoes before there were automobiles?

Q2: Dick, don’t you think an “individual mandate” would solve the problem?

(Yes, yes, yes! I know. You scoffed when we raised such an idea in relation to the IM in Obamacare, but if Americans “must” buy hybrids and you know best…)

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

To the environmentalist, your existence is the problem. Remember when in the movie, The Matrix, Agent Smith said: “Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.” That’s the ethos of the modern environmentalist. The Wachowski brothers didn’t invent this idea. They simply used an idea that’s been around since at least Malthus. What’s new is how many people believe it because of Liberal/Progressive ideology and are willing to act on that belief to stop any economic development.

Gladtobehere on April 6, 2012 at 4:01 PM

If they had their way, we would all be living in earthen hovels, clothed in loincloth and cooking by candle light.
HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Why do you hate the earth so much!!!
Burning candles creates CO2! And soot!
What you can’t get done when the sun gives you light, you don’t need to do!

eeyore on April 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Oh, too funny. But you just KNEW this was coming, right?

OK, lets recap all the things we can’t use for energy:

No oil, gas, or coal (dirty, or carbon generating)
No nuclear (China Syndrome)
No hydroelectric (think of the fish)
No wind (think of the birds)
No solar (think of the sand)

Which leaves with? Anybody? Anybody?

As one enviro-tard I know put it: “Humans are the ultimate invasive species” Right-o, so lets kill everyone off by depriving them of energy, food, transport, and well, basically everything.

Sounds like an awesome plan.

Mr Galt on April 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM

If they had their way, we would all be living in earthen hovels, clothed in loincloth and cooking by candle light.
HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Few points: your hovel would have to be proven to not displace any special breed of newts or ground-owls or snipes. Also, that loin-cloth had better not be fur.

And as to cooking: no. Possible exception: dried dung. Yours.

TexasDan on April 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM

If they had their way, we would all be living in earthen hovels, clothed in loincloth and cooking by candle light.
HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Ah, now you have the idea! This is exactly what Dear Leader has planned for us. After all, look at the poor people in Africa that live in earthen hovels. We need to live in them too, because it’s “F-A-I-R”.

Mr Galt on April 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Solar IS harmful to the environment (on useful, commercial scales, at least). It is good that at least some so-called enviroweenies are waking up to this fact.

Even worse, its a just plain shitty source of power in the first place (excluding ‘passive’ stuff).

The one that the reactionary envirotards always get wrong is hydroelectric… Yeah it destroy some environment and scenery too… but it also creates it (people go out of their way to visit dams, and the reservoirs they make yes). And most importantly it produces massive outputs of high quality completely clean, efficient energy.

NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT the hydroelectric SOLUTION staring everybody in the FACE!

Daikokuco on April 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT the hydroelectric SOLUTION staring everybody in the FACE!

Daikokuco on April 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

YOU HATE DELTA SMELTS! YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A SPECIST!

NOMOBO on April 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

If these green idiots had been around at the dawn of man, I’m sure they would have been all for banning the use of fire. That is the world they want to take us back to, shivering in a cave in the dark.

djtnt on April 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I said this when Barry started touting algae… ‘wait until they flood thousands of acres with salt water so they can grow it… The eviron-MENTAL headcases will go all wee-wee over the dead sand mice.’
-

RalphyBoy on April 6, 2012 at 5:16 PM

NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT the hydroelectric SOLUTION staring everybody in the FACE!

Daikokuco on April 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

You cuckoo, don’t you know that the Obama administration wants to remove dams to save the salmon. Also, aren’t you aware that the potential of hydroelectric power is limited in most of the country.

Gladtobehere on April 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I was fortunate enough to be stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA for a while. The beautiful Mojave desert, and the weird and wonderful animals that live there, are far more real than this global warming BS.

joewm315 on April 6, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Green fascists are all for any energy source until it reaches a level of maturity that it might become practical. Then they appose it.

Slowburn on April 7, 2012 at 4:48 AM

Figure out where you want to build your facility and then without telling anybody about your building plan have the green fascists “count” the endangered species there as part of a larger “census” project. Finally use their “data” to get the approvals and keep fascists off the property until it is thoroughly paved over.

Slowburn on April 7, 2012 at 4:59 AM