“If We Cannot Put Solar Power Plants In The Mojave Desert, I Don’t Know Where The Hell We Can Put Them.”

by John Hawkins | March 27, 2009 2:10 pm

A while back, I was on a teleconference with T. Boone Pickens, who is always flogging his plan to build windmills all over the country. Here’s how a liberal blogger[1] described the question I asked Pickens and his response,

Another conservative blogger, John Hawkins, also sought to undercut renewables, this time with the shibbeleth that wind turbines eat up lots of land and that environmentalists are the real problem fro the nation: “One of the things we focus … Wind mills can take up 85 times as much land as a traditional power plant. … environmentalists will opposed to them … How can we build enough?” TBP responded with, imho, disdain.:

Who’s going to block a wind turbine? You have to become acquainted where you are going to put them. 98% people want them, because of royalty payments.

Disdain, huh? Ahem, from the Wall Street Journal[2] today,

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, thinks he has a partial solution to America’s dependence on foreign oil. But he says liberals and environmentalists are rejecting his plan to make it easier to build solar and wind power stations. California’s Mohave Desert is an inhospitable place, he notes, but 19 companies think it’s perfect for siting solar or wind facilities on 500,000 acres owned by the federal government there.

But Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who used to be San Francisco’s mayor, is having none of it. She is pushing legislation to turn the land into a national monument, which would prevent such development.

Mr. Rohrabacher — who notes 130 pending applications for solar power projects on federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management — is appalled that environmentalists are blocking such plants by demanding time-consuming environmental-impact studies. He tells me that though the BLM has lifted a moratorium on new solar projects on public land that it imposed in 2005, applications are still being clogged up in a bureaucratic pipeline and no new permits have been issued to date. “We need solutions on many levels, and freeing up bottlenecks to alternative energy is one of them,” he says.

But Senator Feinstein says the Mojave land was purchased by the government a decade ago at a discount from the former Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroad with the expectation the land would remain pristine. David Myers, executive director of the Wildlife Conservancy, says putting solar projects on it would be threatening to local desert tortoises. “It would destroy the entire Mojave Desert ecosystem,” he told the Associated Press.

…Even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a noted environmentalist, has had enough of such arguments. “If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don’t know where the hell we can put it,” he told students at Yale University last year.

So, there you go. John Hawkins: 1. T. Boone Pickens: 0.

What it all comes down to is that if it makes your car move, keeps your lights on, or gives you the juice you need to watch your TV, liberals are opposed to it — and the better it works, the more they oppose it. The lame environmental excuse for why they don’t want any new power sources change depending on the situation, but what you can always count on is liberals are going to work tirelessly to drive up energy costs, hurt the economy, and insure that as many Americans as possible eventually have to suffer through the sort of blackouts they engineered in California a few years ago.

  1. liberal blogger: http://www.truthandprogress.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=754
  2. Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123810805612252481.html

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