|Photo of the Calico Solar project site in the Mojave Desert, taken from the PWA report on the Calico Site hydrology and geomorphic qualities, submitted to the CEC on June 18th.|
From my perspective, Mr. Andre's role in the site survey--whether or not he was paid by Tessera Solar--should not have precluded him from testifying during the evidentiary hearings. Mr. Andre's unique expertise benefits this country's understanding of its natural resources, and no single entity seeking his impartial expertise should be able to claim a monopoly. Furthermore, Tessera Solar paid him to help survey public land for a project under review by State and Federal agencies. Mr. Andre's--or any other scientist's--knowledge of what exists on public land is neither confidential nor should it be barred from the public record. Our government owes us--the public--full access to this country's expertise so that we can accurately estimate the impacts of such large scale energy projects, and energy companies such as Tessera Solar should not be permitted to silence our few Mojave Desert science experts. Unfortunately, the evidentiary hearings were deprived of his insight.
The two screenshots below are taken from the Revised Staff Assessment prepared by the CEC, and show the proposed Calico Solar site from the historic Route 66, and an altered image that shows what the site would look like with thousands of industrial mirrors that would carpet the desert almost all of the way to the distant Cady Mountains in the background.