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Meanwhile, back in the Mojave Desert…

At the end of July, I wrote about plans for a 500-megawatt solar power installation at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert.

Yesterday, this story made the news about a 5130-acre solar power farm planned by BrightSource Energy of Oakland for another remote area of the Mojave Desert, on land originally intended for conservation, and how THOSE plans have been “shelved.” BrightSource Energy is seeking an alternative site for the project.

The California land had been donated by the Wildlands Conservancy, a California environmental group, to the Interior Department during the Clinton administration, with assurances that the land would be protected in perpetuity (definition 2).

Well, “perpetuity” lasted until the George W. Bush administration (which also supported uranium mining adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park and skipping consultation with government scientists when starting projects that could impact endangered wildlife) and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (a Bush administration initiative) opened up the land to the development of solar projects. The Wildlands Conservancy had tried to block the solar development, as had Senator Dianne Feinstein, who proposed that the area become a national monument.

A Wildlands representative saluted BrightSource Energy for “their responsible behavior.” Representatives of the company did not return media calls for comment.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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