There is a lot of press on the California Energy Commission's (CEC) preliminary approval of Tessera Solar LLC's Calico Solar power project. The press is portraying Tessera Solar's project as being halved by government authorities or "crazy hippies" who are trying to save the desert tortoise instead of building a larger solar power plant. What most people just now entering the debate do not realize is that Tessera Solar's project is actually proposed for public land, and will receive taxpayer-backed financing in the form of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds.
Plenty of commentators will have you believe that Tessera Solar is being wronged by the government, but consider that the company is basically dependent on government handouts to make a profit, and its profit model is based on bulldozing pristine American wilderness. And to add insult to injury, we could generate solar energy from the rooftops of our homes, parking lots, or the tops of commercial buildings. So before we go blaming "environmentalists" or "hippies" because that fits the most simplistic and naive model of interest groups, keep in mind that energy companies looking for sympathy have been taking from our pockets and lining Washington's pockets. They are not the victim in the CEC's decision.