Destruction of the Ivanpah Valley
Basin and Range Watch posted new photos of the construction of BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in the northeastern Mojave Desert. Taxpayers' money is being used to provide 1.4 billion dollars in financing to the project, and American citizens are giving up over 5 square miles of public land to the company. According to the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, the Department of Interior expects the solar energy industry to bulldoze over 300 square miles of desert habitat -- multiply the destruction in the photos below by 150 if you want to imagine what our energy policy will do to our public land.
|The destruction in this aerial photo represents only about a third of the total project. Photo from Basin and Range Watch.|
|Bulldozers scraped away once pristine desert habitat. The project is estimated to displace or kill nearly 140 endangered desert tortoises, according to the BLM. Photo from Basin and Range Watch.|
|Check out the Basin and Range Watch site for more photos and descriptions.|
|The Ivanpah site hosted ancient creosote shrub rings, a healthy desert tortoise population, rare desert wildflowers, and foraging habitat for Golden Eagles and bighorn sheep. This should not be the future of our "green" economy.|