Library filed under Impact on Landscape from California

Groups must weigh power versus forests

The agencies proposing to install 600 miles of high-voltage power lines had better be ready for a fight, because residents along the route are ready to give it to them. Most importantly, they should be prepared to explain why it's even necessary that they cut through as much forest as currently envisioned. The 200 people who showed up last week at the Red Lion Hotel's ballroom in Redding were just a taste of what's to come.
19 Apr 2009

'Wind farm' project progressing quietly

A "wind farm" that would take advantage of the gusts that have been blowing through the Central Coast at 30 to 50 mph is moving right along despite a lawsuit filed against the county's approval of the project. Construction won't begin for at least a year, but in the meantime officials of the developer say they are working to meet all the requirements imposed by the county with the intention of protecting the environment surrounding the "clean energy" project.
19 Apr 2009

Debate over desert land usage

If there are two facts that anyone who has any knowledge of the Mojave Desert knows for sure, they are that the area has ample amounts of both sun and wind. There are also plenty of wide open spaces. This would make the California desert a prime candidate for the development of both solar power plants and also wind farms. ...These former railroad lands were donated to or purchased by the Department of the Interior for conservation, and thus were thought to be protected forever. But the Bureau of Land Management considers them to be open to all types of development other than mining.
5 Apr 2009

Environmentalists in a clash of goals

To his chagrin, some of Mr. Myers's fellow environmentalists are helping power companies pinpoint the best sites for solar-power technology. The goal of his former allies is to combat climate change by harnessing the desert's solar-rich terrain, reducing the region's reliance on carbon-emitting fuels. Mr. Myers is indignant. "How can you say you're going to blade off hundreds of thousands of acres of earth to preserve the Earth?" he said. As the Obama administration puts development of geothermal, wind and solar power on a fast track, the environmental movement finds itself torn between fighting climate change and a passion for saving special places.
24 Mar 2009

Coalition still hammering against Green Path North

Miller, who is president of Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, told the attendees that Los Angeles citizens are opposing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Green Path project, especially as it could be a threat to Joshua Tree National Park. One plan to foil the energy path is to legally declare Big Morongo Canyon Preserve as a protected wilderness attached to Joshua Tree National Park, where no power lines are allowed. That would disrupt the contiguous transmission towers in one Green Path North alternative proposed by the Los Angeles power company.
25 Feb 2009

Costs of industrializing the desert could be staggering

California desert lands are in some ways a perfect fit with the renewable energy industries necessary to combat climate change. ...But without careful planning and regulation, these "climate solutions" could irrevocably damage the planet they are intended to protect. The biologically rich but arid desert ecosystems are remarkably fragile. Once topsoil and plant life have been disrupted for the placement of solar arrays, wind farms, power plants, transmission lines and carbon dioxide scrubbers, restoration would be cost-prohibitive, if not technically impossible. And widespread desert construction - even of projects aimed at environmental mitigation - would devastate the very organisms and ecosystems best able to adjust to a warming world.
22 Feb 2009

Could green kill the desert?

The biologically rich but arid desert ecosystems are remarkably fragile. Once topsoil and plant life have been disrupted for the placement of solar arrays, wind farms, power plants, transmission lines and CO2 scrubbers, restoration would be cost-prohibitive, if not technically impossible. And widespread desert construction -- even of projects aimed at environmental mitigation -- would devastate the very organisms and ecosystems best able to adjust to a warming world. Nevertheless, there is a public land rush underway.
15 Feb 2009

Supervisors say yes to wind farm project

Santa Barbara County's first renewable wind-energy project, which proponents say could provide enough electricity to serve up to 50,000 homes, was given hands-down approval Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors. The supervisors agreed that the benefits of having a wind farm southwest of Lompoc far outweighed the unavoidable environmental impacts it will bring. ..."I look at these monsters and I don't like them, but they're part of making wind energy, and I guess they're needed," said 5th District Supervisor Joe Centeno.
11 Feb 2009

Don Quixote fights the windmills - and so do the folks in Boulevard

Should wind turbines hundreds of feet tall -higher than the existing Kumeyaay wind farm turbines- be allowed in the rural McCain Valley/Boulevard region in East County? Does the nation's critical need for "green" energy outweigh the concerns of residents seeking to preserve the rural character of their backcountry communities? With new industrial-scale wind farms proposed across America, East County Magazine's Gayle Early set out on a quest to explore these issues in depth for our three-part series on wind energy.
1 Feb 2009

Block Energy's Path: Effort high to keep power lines out of virgin desert

In March 2007, April Sall, the conservationist overseeing the Pipes Canyon Preserve in the San Bernardino County desert, got a call from an employee at the federal Bureau of Land Management. The caller wondered if Sall knew of a plan to run 85 miles of electrical transmission lines through the Morongo Basin, on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, and through parts of the 20,000-acre private preserve northeast of Yucca Valley.
23 Dec 2008

State commission approves Sunrise Powerlink project - opponents set to appeal

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday cleared the way for construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, a contentious transmission line that promises to bring more reliable and renewable power from the Imperial Valley to San Diego. The 4-1 vote allows San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to move forward with the 123-mile, $1.9 billion power-line project, which could deliver enough electricity to serve 650,000 households.
19 Dec 2008

Residents protest 'green' power lines; Many claim towers spoil natural beauty

The towers are visible from the back of Milligan's Cavi at The Big Oaks, but he says it's not those power lines that concern him. The restaurateur is bothered by the lines that Southern California Edison will soon install midway down the slope in Bouquet Canyon as part of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. The towers would dominate the view from Milligan's backyard bar and grill and he believes they would spoil Bouquet Canyon's rare natural environment.
24 Nov 2008

Florida's broken windmills: A California problem

The permit allowing windmills to go in didn't say they could sit there broken. Palm Springs is getting tough. If windmills are going to exist in the city they must be operational. A city that has welcomed windmills since it was first approached about them in the early 1980's is finding that many of those windmills are no longer working and it wants them fixed. The question is who's responsible for fixing them? Florida Power and Light (FPL), the owner of the inoperable windmills, was allowed to install and operate local windmill farms under a conditional use permit (CUP) stipulating if the windmill does not run for six months, it's declared a public nuisance and without a hearing, must be abated. ...So far FPL is all talk and no action as it has not been able to satisfy the city's or landowners' concerns.
28 Oct 2008

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&p=7&topic=Impact+on+Landscape
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