As noted in previous posts, there are thousands of acres of other suitable energy sites available in Southern California, to include already disturbed land. Tessera Solar's choice to propose an 8,000 acre energy project in the Central Mojave Desert that is home to over a hundred endangered desert tortoises was a poor one. The CEC should be applauded for recognizing the value of this land, and the irreversible nature of the damage that these energy sites can do to our desert wilderness.
I am sure there will be opponents of the decision that will claim "crazy environmentalists" are stunting economic growth. To counter this inaccurate notion, consider the following:
- The CEC has already approved--or provided preliminary approval--for several solar projects, to include Beacon Solar power project, Abengoa Solar (Abengoa and Beacon both are on previously disturbed land), Imperial Solar, Blythe Solar, Genesis Solar, and Ivanpah Solar.
- America values its public wilderness for more than just industrial use. We began to realize this as a country by the middle of the last century when our natural heritage was being trashed, poisoned and bull-dozed. Our national bird was threatened with extinction, and the bear that graces California's State flag no longer exists in the State.
- Energy companies have plenty of locations to choose from for their proposed operations, to include public lands of less ecological importance and private parcels of land that have already been disturbed. The companies are in a rush to benefit from public financing (American Reinvestment and Recover Act) and were short-sighted to choose public land that is also host to high quality habitat.