These projects affect every community and ratepayer in California because they will wipe out treasured open spaces and increase electricity costs unnecessarily. So it's disheartening that Brown belittled the voice of voters, lamenting the fact that he had to "talk a little bit," with concerned citizens, but saying "at the end of the day you have to move forward, and California needs to move forward with our renewable energy." What these citizens are asking for is not a halt to all renewable energy; they want renewable energy where it makes sense, such as on already-disturbed lands or rooftops. Ironically, Brown spoke these words at a conference for distributed generation, which involves installing solar panels on rooftops and in urban spaces--a more effective and less destructive way to meet our renewable energy goals.
So what kind of opposition is Governor Brown crushing? Perhaps the Native Americans that protested his backing of the 10 square-mile Blythe Solar power project. Bulldozers had already barreled through sacred ceremonial sites before Governor Brown flew in to attend the official groundbreaking ceremony for the solar site. Native Americans and other concerned citizens were there to protest, but Governor Brown did not give them the time of day as he gladly stood next to executives of the German firm Solar Millennium, some of whom are under investigation in Germany for embezzlement.
|Native Americans protesting the destruction of a sacred site by Solar Millennium. Not long after, Governor Brown visited the site for the official groundbreaking, rubbing elbows with executives of a scandal-plagued company receiving billions of taxpayer-backed loans and grants. Photo by Basin and Range Watch.|
What about concerns that all of these solar facilities in the middle of the desert require new or upgraded transmission lines that will cost billions of dollars? All of those costs will be passed along to electricity customers.
|Solar panels in our urban spaces make a lot more sense than placing them in the middle of our beautiful deserts. Photo by Basin and Range Watch.|
Let's get serious about distributed generation and abandon the old energy paradigm of bulldozers and transmission towers.