Library from California
In March, David Dotson discovered his mother's small vacation home just west of Mojave had been demolished without her permission. The developer of the Rising Tree Wind Farm, which is clearing land in the area for a renewable energy project, said the home was mistaken for an identical cabin nearby that it was authorized to take down. The Dotsons have filed a lawsuit.
Wind energy companies bulldozed a black family's house because they were the sole holdouts who refused to sell out to a huge wind farm, the family claims in court. ...EDP Renewables is building the Rising Tree Wind Farm about 3 miles west of Mojave in Kern County. ...When David Dotson went up to the family home in late March to do some maintenance, he discovered that the home was "literally wiped off the face of the Earth," that all the furnishings and family belongings "were simply eviscerated," the complaint states.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi announced the filing of a lawsuit against a wind farm developer who harassed an African American family and demolished their home. ...EDPR sought to acquire the rights to all of the properties in the proposed development area. The Dotson Family- the only African-American family within the proposed development area- that were subjected to the type of threats, coercion, and intimidation tactics which included the destruction of their home.
This complaint filed by Mrs. Doreen Dotson and her sons David Dotson and Daniel Dotson argues that EDP Renewables North American and Rising Tree Wind Farm LLC bulldozed the Dotson family home after Mrs. Dotson refused to accept money to move from her property. The General Statement of the Case is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
INSIDE HOOVER DAM — The floor rumbled under Mark Cook. His legs vibrated as he stood in a tunnel tucked into the thick base of Hoover Dam, 430 feet below the tourists looking out over Lake Mead. Beneath him, water roared through steel pipes 13 feet tall. Nearby, heavy turbines hummed with mechanical intensity.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System was the site of somewhere between 2,500 and 6,700 bird mortalities in the plant's first year of operation, between October 2013 and October 2014.
Wind energy deliveries to California's top utility fell by half in the first two months of the year because of unusually weak winds in some Western states. The slowed wind energy production has exacerbated electricity shortfalls caused by a long drought, which has reduced hydroelectric power in the most populous U.S. state.
Haggerty, Valle and Miley on March 24 voted in favor of extending the company's permit until 2018 in a controversial 3-2 decision. Estimates suggest the company's outdated windmills will kill thousands of birds over that period. Miley now says he wants to revisit the issue. ...The supervisors' vote was slammed by opponents such as Audubon California and the East Bay Regional Park District. They say the extension means three more years of disastrous effects on the golden eagle population, which has seen a massive decline since turbines were first installed in the Altamont Pass in the 1980s.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to extend permit rights for Altamont Winds Inc. to operate in the Altamont Pass, despite charges by environmentalists that the company’s technology is outdated and will unnecessarily kill nearly 2,000 birds.
The board overrode a vote of the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments to deny Altamont Winds, Inc., the right to run the older windmills. It also went against its own staff recommendation, the wishes of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Attorney General's office, Audubon California and others.
In 2005, Altamont Winds Inc. cut a deal with Alameda County to phase out 25 percent of its old turbines by 2013. The company then secured a two-year extension and now is requesting three more years to complete the project.
It was the largest curtailment of green energy last year, according to grid operators, and it highlights a hurdle for Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to increase the state's reliance on renewable energy. Peak demand for electricity rarely coincides with the brightest sunshine or the strongest winds, so finding a way to store clean power and deliver it when needed will be critical as California relies more on renewable energy.
New permitting requirements would be particularly troubling, Noble said, because the Coachella Valley already has its own plan to protect birds and other wildlife. Officials spent 10 years working on the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan that covers more than one million acres from Cabazon to the Salton Sea. Noble called the new plan "a massive overreach."
A controversial extension of wind turbine permits on the Altamont Pass, which opponents claim could kill hundreds of birds of prey over the next three years, is scheduled to head to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The California desert may be a green energy developer's dream, but county officials have serious concerns about a plan to manage renewable energy projects on 22 million acres of the state's sunniest public and private lands.
Response by Donna Tisdale to Supervisor Dave Roberts’ opinion published in East County Magazine
A wind turbine caught fire at the wind farm outside Ocotillo.
One of the 112 wind turbines in Ocotillo Wind Express caught fire on January 15 and smoke was seen fuming from the turbine for hours. Many long-time critics of the wind farm project had cited the likelihood of a wind turbine catching fire as one of numerous safety concerns.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, said Imperial County Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas, and it may be some time before the cause is determined.
The Interior Department is being sued by Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo tribes — collectively called the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) — for siting a solar plant on sacred tribal lands, including burial grounds and sacred sites in California’s Mojave Desert.