Good news: Interior Department opening up more federal land… for solar panels

posted at 7:21 pm on July 24, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I already expended all of my outrageous outrage over this particularly irksome program of the Interior Department’s doing when I discovered it last October, but here’s still more of the same baloney:

The Obama administration will open public lands in six western states to more solar projects as part of a solar energy road map it publicized Tuesday.

The Interior Department set aside 285,000 acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah for the initiative. Firms can apply for waivers to develop projects on an additional 19 million acres.

Calling the announcement a “proud moment,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that it reaffirms Obama’s commitment to solar power. He noted public lands hosted no solar projects when Obama took office.

The administration has since approved 17 major solar projects on public lands producing about 6,000 megawatts of power, Salazar said.

Forget about the leasing for oil, gas, and mineral drilling that would allow the energy market to produce the jobs and economic growth it is absolutely chomping at the bit to create — let’s prioritize our administrative resources and land use for an industry that has demonstrated itself barely capable of competing on the global market despite heavy assistance from taxpayers. Yeah, that’s a great plan.

And yes, I realize that the land they’re devoting for solar-panel projects probably isn’t the same land that’s in play for oil and gas exploration anyway, but the real point is: Why is the federal government in control of so much of America’s land in the first place? The feds own almost one-third of the surface area of the United States, and instead of management choices being made by private citizens with private ownership (and nobody has more of an incentive to conserve an asset than the actual owner — private property, for the win!), the federal government gets to decide how that land will be used based on their political goals. Ergo, here we are, with more solar panels that nobody in the profit-seeking private sector seems to be asking for, and cut off from the drilling permits that everybody except the environmental lobby wants. Awesomesauce.


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Then when they find out it’s hurting some minor species of p!ss ants the greenies will come against it. Which leads to the question I always ask about these people: do these a$$holes just want to live in dark?

gsherin on July 24, 2012 at 7:25 PM

If at first you don’t succeed, then damn it, add a dozen more sticks of dynamite and try again

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Why are the States letting so much land be used by the federal government? The States are the ones that ultimately control and are responsible for their own land.

All a State legislature has to do is revoke the permission to use it.

And if it didn’t give that permission in the first place, the federal use is unconstitutional.

I’m betting that the States can put such land to much, much better use than the federal government can.

ajacksonian on July 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Great!! After they’re abandoned in a couple of years they can grind em up and incorporate them into some experimental drilling mud right on the spot.

BigWyo on July 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Tripling down on stupid.

Cody1991 on July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

bankrupt in a year but Obama does need the donations.

Grunt on July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Sorry we had to cut down those trees, we were making way for a solar farm.

thebrokenrattle on July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Why are the States letting so much land be used by the federal government?

ajacksonian on July 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Letting???

Look up Bureau of Land Management…

BigWyo on July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Then when they find out it’s hurting some minor species of p!ss ants the greenies will come against it. Which leads to the question I always ask about these people: do these a$$holes just want to live in dark?

gsherin on July 24, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Excuss me, what do you mean “When they find out”??? The enviro-Nazi’s here in California have been fight for 10 years already to prevent any part of California’s deserts being used in any solar energy facility.

If Little Bammy Obama don’t already ready know this then it’s only because the Area 51 space aliens keep erasing his memory every night.

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Ken Salazar, Lisa P. Jackson, tag team.

Bmore on July 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Ironic that an administration that abhors the light of day in its day to day dealings and cover-ups is so wedded to solar power.

Perhaps they’ll allow solar powered drilling rigs. That’s the only way I can figure solar power might be productive and produce jobs.

MessesWithTexas on July 24, 2012 at 7:31 PM

The Obama administration will open public lands in six Western states to more solar projects as part of a solar energy road map it publicized Tuesday.

The Interior Department set aside 285,000 acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah for the initiative. Firms can apply for waivers to develop projects on an additional 19 million acres

Here we go again…….

Sniff, sniff…. what’s that stench in the air?

Cody1991 on July 24, 2012 at 7:32 PM

bankrupt in a year but Obama does need the donations.

Grunt on July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Financial death panels.

the_nile on July 24, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Oh, I got it!

Are these going to be those mythical “shovel ready jobs”? Only illegals can apply, right?

Cody1991 on July 24, 2012 at 7:34 PM

BigWyo on July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Art I, Sec. 8:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

Yes, letting.

The States are sovereign over their territory and can rescind via their Legislatures the power of the federal government to utilize land inside the State. And the fun thing is that when the federal government takes land, it doesn’t pay taxes to the States… so the States really are losing out when the federal government steps into get land.

If a State doesn’t see the proper utilization of land by the federal government it is within its right and power to take back the land… eminent domain if worse comes to worse. It works just as well against the federal government as against other land owners. A simple rescinding of permission should do it.

ajacksonian on July 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Sorry we had to cut down those trees, we were making way for a solar farm.

thebrokenrattle

And sorry we had to strip mine to get the copper to run the transmission lines from way out there.

Wander on July 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM

How long before we’re using more than our “fair share” of sunshine?

Mr Galt on July 24, 2012 at 7:37 PM

SPLIT *and* DOUBLE DOWN, BABY!

RedNewEnglander on July 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Make sure all these panels are around 7 feet high.
So we can see all the Made in China stickers on the back of them.

Electrongod on July 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Can’t help but wonder how this is going to work out for the good folks in San Antonio. No mention about subsidies. I’m saving this article for future reference.

CC Senor on July 24, 2012 at 7:41 PM

They are great for target practice.

Kissmygrits on July 24, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Obama loves to crush opportunity and destroy confiscated wealth.

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Why is the federal government in control of so much of America’s land in the first place?

They shouldn’t be. The feds land ownership should be limited to their office building needs, military bases and a few (very few) small National parks. As someone pointed out, why the states allowed this to happen is puzzling.

lowandslow on July 24, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Good Lord !
Cant’cha just wait for that ‘Nov – Jan’ period ??

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Forget about the leasing for oil, gas, and mineral drilling that would allow the energy market to produce the jobs and economic growth it is absolutely chomping at the bit to create —
=======================================================

Yup,wouldn’t want to ruin,the aesthetics of the pristine lands with, say,the hideous KeyStone Oil PipeLine,

but its full-steam ahead,on Solar Panels!!

It must be a real burden,to live in the Moral-Superiority
of the Lefty-MindSet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Plants hardest hit.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Ya know,I would [get it],if one was using Solar-Panels on the Moon!

Le Ugh!!

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Obama loves to crush opportunity and destroy confiscated wealth.

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Then, after he is finished crushing your hopes and dreams, Obama likes to eat your family dog, just so you will understand how totally and completely he owns you.

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 7:47 PM

The sun must shine brighter on Federal lands.

Electrongod on July 24, 2012 at 7:49 PM

*Solar Panels*

The Savour of the US Economy,and Energy needs!
(sarc).

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:49 PM

But what about the 3 legged, flying, speckled, albino tortoise–will he be squished?

hillsoftx on July 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Awww YEAH . . . . . you can’t have too many solar panels.

listens2glenn on July 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

OK, so WHICH bundlers will scrooooo us, this time ??

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Does this mean the govt is leasing the land to energy companies to use?

Is this going to be a source of revenue for the govt — like a drilling lease?

Or is the govt going to pay for the solar panels and the company is going to sell the electricity?

KenInIL on July 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM

BREAKING:

NBCDFW
Update on shooting: Police in riot gear arrive to control #dallascrowd http://t.co/08yfw93f

Submitted 7 mins ago from twitter.com by editor

LIVE FEED
=========

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Possible-Officer-Involved-Shooting-in-Dallas-163617666.html

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Up next?

Unicorn ranches in Chicago and Detroit.

Key West Reader on July 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Yeah….put the solar panels over there….next to the Unicorn Ranch.

(I’ve gotta go take a hopeandchange – had a burrito for lunch).

Tim_CA on July 24, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Banks of solar panels and windwills are far more pleasing to the eye than… oil rigs, which actually produce energy.

Especially when they are part of a Grand Energy Lie.

Is it November yet?

http://piqscore.com/2012/06/one-natural-resource-well-never-run-out-of-misinformation/

VastRightWingConspirator on July 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Awww YEAH . . . . . you can’t have too many solar panels.

listens2glenn on July 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

‘Awww…I coulda been a contender!!!!!’

-Solyndra

BigWyo on July 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Key West Reader on July 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

get outta my head!!!!11!!1

Tim_CA on July 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Up next?

Unicorn ranches in Chicago and Detroit.

Key West Reader on July 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Key West Reader:Haha,it sounds so “RainBowish”!:)

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Why don’t enviroweenies care as much about mother Gaia’s skin being pimpled with ugly solar cells & windmills as they do about us pockmarking it with oil wells?

29Victor on July 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Why open federal lands when there are City BLOCKS in ChiTcago, Detroit, and New York that stand vacant thanks to the 0bama economy?

IF they really wanted to solve our problems they would use those lands and assist the housing market along with unemployment in those areas. Since they are not they just again proved that they are incapable of dealing with real world problems.

DannoJyd on July 24, 2012 at 8:01 PM

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Watching, live, here .. Breathless reporters, but no idea what’s actually going on.
Hubby says mother of a shot suspect has been screaming ‘ they shot my unarmed son !’ …
promptly after he’d shot at police .. OY.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

A few weeks ago a Telegraph report discussed how the Brits were outraged that Wind turbines would be sprouting up all over the country side in parks. Won’t it be fun visiting the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone for the solar panels?

William Teach on July 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Watching, live, here .. Breathless reporters, but no idea what’s actually going on.
Hubby says mother of a shot suspect has been screaming ‘ they shot my unarmed son !’ …
promptly after he’d shot at police .. OY.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Which, if you saw the crowd, most likely mean’s the deceased is probably another Trevyon Martin.

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Our niece is a Dallas police officer (most popular one on ‘Policewomen of Dallas’ a couple seasons ago, btw)
so, we follow DPD quite closely.
So many idiots, so little time. Sigh.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:14 PM

I have experimented with PV cells and tried to put the new home up utilizing them. Not there yet. The return on power compared to the cost is still a pipe dream.

hawkdriver on July 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Basically, yeah.
OY.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Reminds me of the situation with the railroads companies after the Civil War. Lots of public land in the West was given away then, in a process rife with corruption.

Machiavelli on July 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

The Interior Department set aside 285,000 acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah for the initiative. Firms can apply for waivers to develop projects on an additional 19 million acres.

…which I think means that the American public will not be able to camp, use for other recreation or trespass on those lands anymore.

KOOLAID2 on July 24, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Last update,I don’t want to get myself into Ban Hammer territory!

Follow it here: http://www.breakingnews.com/
=============================================

Update: SE Dallas crowd asked to move to nearby church for community meeting after police shot a man – @JasonWhitely

Submitted 2 mins ago by editor

Photo of crowd in south Dallas where hundreds have gathered at scene of fatal shooting – @JasonWhitely

Submitted 2 mins ago from ow.ly by editor

http://ow.ly/i/Nmwg

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 8:19 PM

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Watching, live, here .. Breathless reporters, but no idea what’s actually going on.
Hubby says mother of a shot suspect has been screaming ‘ they shot my unarmed son !’ …
promptly after he’d shot at police .. OY.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

pambi:

They went off air,it was about a drug dealer/user,shot in the back,
(alledged),at a drug house.I supplied the linky above,I don’t want
to get,ahem(O/T)……——:0

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I have experimented with PV cells and tried to put the new home up utilizing them. Not there yet. The return on power compared to the cost is still a pipe dream.

hawkdriver on July 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

You have to live somewhere like where I live (San Diego County Ca) for PV to ever even come close to paying for themselves let along saving you any money. (We average probably close to 300 clear sunny days a year here). The problem is, that even here they take about 10 to 15 years to pay for themselves and they only have a reliable life of 20 – 25 years.

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM

The only local station that was following the cr*p in Dallas has now gone to regular programming, so I guess thangs have calmed down.
Film @ 11 … hehe.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Speaking of Energy!!

Michigan governor declares emergency over fuel shortage
Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:07pm EDT
****************************

(Reuters) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday declared an energy emergency in the state due to temporary shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel in parts of the Upper Peninsula caused by the shutdown of a pipeline in Wisconsin

The emergency declaration suspends state and federal regulations that limit hours of service for motor carriers and drivers transporting gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel to address the shortages, Snyder said in a statement.

The West Shore pipeline that carries 70,000 barrels-per-day of refined products from Chicago to Green Bay in northern Wisconsin was shut for several days after a gasoline leak was found on July 17. The pipeline was restarted Saturday night.

The pipeline, which is operated by Buckeye Partners LP, carries gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel and the closed section of the line started about 10 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

The leak spilled about 1,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline, according to a report the company filed with the National Response Center.

Michigan noted that the pipeline supplies gasoline and diesel fuel to service stations through the western and central sections of the Upper Peninsula above Wisconsin.

“This energy emergency declaration is necessary to ensure that petroleum supplies will remain sufficient and to assure the health, safety and welfare of Michigan residents and visitors,” Snyder said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/25/us-usa-michigan-emergency-idUSBRE86O00I20120725

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

The only local station that was following the cr*p in Dallas has now gone to regular programming, so I guess thangs have calmed down.
Film @ 11 … hehe.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

pambi:Ya,about 5 minutes after I posted it,but theres this tho!:)
—————————————————————–

Police from all across Dallas called to scene of fatal shooting in South Dallas where hundreds have gathered – @dallasnews

Submitted 30 mins ago by editor

canopfor on July 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM

285,000 acres of glass? Guess I’ll be buying some Windex stock.

GarandFan on July 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

The administration has since approved 17 major solar projects on public lands producing about 6,000 megawatts of power, Salazar said.

well, when the sun is shining…and no clouds.

These guys assume that the sheeple are even more stupid than they are…and of course given the important role of the press in spreading the word…they would be right

r keller on July 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Depriving a thousand square miles of land of all sunlight….

Compared to this, Soviet Russia’s ecological disasters were the freaking Garden of Eden.

logis on July 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

A few years back, there were a lot of speculators buying up land here in Arizona for the purpose of selling it to the power companies for solar. Of course the greenies b!tched and moaned about how all these solar arrays were going to destroy the vistas and habitat etc. etc. But now the Feds can do it – and the greenies won’t complain?

What strikes me as funny is this: They’ve found that solar panels actually UNDER perform in the hot Arizona desert. The higher temperatures found here, reduce the panel’s efficiency. Solar companies are having to build larger facilities in order to get the desired output. In addition to that, the solar panels degrade, and the efficiency/output decline each year – so the companies are finding that they have to change-out of panels more often than anticipated. And finally, the efficiency of the systems fall-off dramatically when the panels and or mirrors get dirty. Have you ever seen an Arizona dust storm? How do these panels and mirrors get cleaned – with precious water from the desert?

Hill60 on July 24, 2012 at 8:37 PM

lowandslow on July 24, 2012 at 7:43 PM

I may be odd man out here but they should have no national parks. If states want to preserve land as parks then they may under their power.

chemman on July 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

285,000 acres of glass? Guess I’ll be buying some Windex stock.

GarandFan on July 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Lots of greedy union jobs there, for certified solar panel efficiency maximizer technicians, CSPEMT’s.

slickwillie2001 on July 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I can hear Interior Secretary Nitwit now, “Hey, I have a great idea! Let’s build massive solar farms way out in the desert Southwest where all the sunshine is and the people aren’t.”

I’m sure the resident lizards, desert tortoises, and rare cacti or their human protectors will not object to all those roads and solar structures. Then all we have to do is figure out how to string enough wire to get all that electricity a hundred miles or more to the nearest city. I’m sure the resident lizards, desert tortoises, and rare cacti or their human protectors will not object to all those roads or microwaves emanating from those high tension wires.

Sec Nitwit’s closing query, “Anybody seen my favorite ewe?”

WestTexasBirdDog on July 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Hill60 on July 24, 2012 at 8:37 PM

My house is powered by solar and wind. I live in an off grid area where it was less expensive to go the solar/wind route than bring in electric power. I’m in NE Arizona and my panels definitely work better during the winter. In summer the loss of efficiency is made up by longer hours of sunlight.

chemman on July 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Return the land to the taxpayers. Specifically, those who have paid some form of federal taxes.

HopeHeFails on July 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Hubby says mother of a shot suspect has been screaming ‘ they shot my unarmed son !’ …
promptly after he’d shot at police .. OY.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Which, if you saw the crowd, most likely mean’s the deceased is probably another Trevyon Martin.

SWalker on July 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Probably. Like all those welfare queens who bawl “Mah po’ baybee! Those evil po-leece shot mah baybeee!”…but what goes unsaid is that their ‘baby’ was a complete waste of oxygen if not a walking menace to society.

MelonCollie on July 24, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Not to worry. The environmental lobby will oppose this too. There’s an endangered turtle everywhere you want to put a solar panel. It’s spooky.

J.E. Dyer on July 24, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Why are the States letting so much land be used by the federal government? The States are the ones that ultimately control and are responsible for their own land.

All a State legislature has to do is revoke the permission to use it.

And if it didn’t give that permission in the first place, the federal use is unconstitutional.

I’m betting that the States can put such land to much, much better use than the federal government can.

ajacksonian on July 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

It’s not just that. Federal lands can only be used for post roads and offices, military bases, ports, administration offices (constrained to D.C.) and other needful BUILDINGS with approval of the state legislature.

Federal land use without the buildings or specific items mentioned above is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. PERIOD.

dominigan on July 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

And yes… that extends to national preserves and parks!

dominigan on July 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Solar panels, one mile wide, for 400 miles…equals one nuclear power plant…that takes up about 1 square mile.

So, solar panels, one mile wide, from LA to SF (through all terrain, Indian burial grounds, ecological preserves, wildlife preserves) equals the Diablo Canyon power plant. That is in So. California…try that in Oregon, maybe 800 miles, Washington, 1200 miles?

Imagine now the people needed to maintain 400 miles of equipment…imagine the amount of energy needed to produce 400 sq. miles of solar panels…

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM

The rated power is peak power…actually it is only 25% of peak power is the actual power that can be used off of a solar panel, and that is one in the desert with maximum sun exposure.
So those 17 power plants of 6,000 watts is only about (maximum use) 1,500 megawatts, a small nuclear power plant.
Arizona has on facility (3 plants) that produce almost 4,000 usable MW.

Solar panels are interesting, a great experiment, and research project, but not practical right now…

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM

ajacksonian on July 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

dominigan on July 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

What in the H-LL does UNCONSTITUTIONAL have to do with anything anymore?

Overturning law by executive fiat is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL, but that causes no pause for this White House.

Carnac on July 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Salazar Slytherin aside, all that fed-held land has suggested one way to ax our insane national debt: sell it off. Let Chicoms & others pay tax on it.

Olo_Burrows on July 26, 2012 at 5:39 PM