On Power And Politics

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BLM APPROVES 51 RENEWABLE PROJECTS ON PUBLIC LANDS.Solar Industry Magazine (4/24, Caley) reports on an “approval spree” by the Bureau of Land Management that has resulted in 51 renewable energy projects being approved for construction on public lands since 2009. The approvals are in pursuit of a goal of approving 20 gigawatts of such projects by 2020 in line with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Mentioned are the Ocotillo Sol Solar Project, which will supply San Diego Gas & Electric with electricity, the 300-megawatt Stateline solar farm project, and the 250-megawatt Silver State South solar project. To receive BLM approval, each of these projects had to reduce its footprint and acquire land for habitat preservation.
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In the article, more interesting stuff:

On April 7, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved the Ocotillo Sol Solar Project, a 20 MW photovoltaic project that will be located on 100 acres of public land in Imperial County, Calif. Ocotillo is the 51st approved renewable energy project that is to be built on public lands – the latest in an approval spree that the BLM began in 2009.

Before 2009, there were no solar projects authorized on public lands. As part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution and increase renewable energy in the U.S., the BLM has a goal to approve 20 GW of renewable energy production on public lands by 2020.

Uh huh. No word about how many GW have already been approved-or how many are still to come. This might give some indication as to how many other projects might be in the pipeline as well and/or where they are located.

“We provide opportunities for public input on these projects,” says Ray Brady, manager of the national renewable energy coordination office for the BLM.

I think they got some of that a couple of weeks ago in Bunkerville…

What the H does the BLM have to do with energy!? Don’t we already have a Department of Energy? Perhaps one agency is not needed.

The first, the 300 MW Stateline solar farm project, will be built in San Bernardino County, Calif., on approximately 1,685 acres of public land located two miles south of the California-Nevada border. First Solar agreed to reduce Stateline’s footprint by more than 20% “to avoid and minimize project impacts,” according to a BLM press release. Also, to protect the threatened desert tortoise, the BLM is expanding the nearby Ivanpah Desert Wildlife Management Area by more than 20,000 acres and requiring that the developer protect three times the area that the project will disturb.

The second, the 250 MW Silver State South solar project, will be located near Primm, Nev., on approximately 2,400 acres of public land. The Silver State South design was reduced by 100 MW, and mitigation measures will include soil stabilization to prevent erosion and polluted runoff. First Solar must set aside $3.6 million for desert tortoise mitigation and $3.5 million for studies to guide future efforts to protect the desert tortoise in the project area.

“Very few of these projects are sited in the desert tortoise’s critical habitat, but they do impact the desert tortoise to some extent,” Brady says. “We are focusing our conservation and mitigation funds on trying to improve critical habitat for the desert tortoise.”

So . . . wouldn’t this be simply letting the private sector provide for the protection of the desert tortoise? (The same desert tortoises that BLM was killing earlier because they didn’t have any more funds to keep them at the Desert Tortoise Homeless Shelter and Casino? So if they didn’t have money to save the tortoise, where did the money come from for the operation at the Bundy Ranch. Maybe from some Chinese solar executives?)

Doesn’t this violate the inviolable principle that only the government can protect the wildlife on public lands by keeping evil greedy capitalist man off of that land? Some private business enterprises are more equal than others.

So why the sudden interest in all these solar plants? Because our government is hinting at a “renewables mandate” that a certain percentage of all power be generated by approved renewable sources. Which is an absolute boon for places like Nevada-home of the Reid Dynasty.


21 projects the BLM has approved have been in Nevada. That’s approaching half of the 51 projects listed. I’m sure that’s just coincidence. Isn’t it convenient that the BLM has been able to put all but one rancher out of business in Clark County, NV?

Look at the land that these projects are consuming. I come up with 294,554 acres of public land that has been yielded to commercial development for renewable energy having a potential output of 13930 MW. That’s 0.047 MW per acre if anyone’s counting. And remember, the wind and solar power is only intermittently available.

One of the big hitters in terms of land grab is the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in Carbon County, Wyoming. 102,207 acres. If you look at the map, it actually may be two separate pieces of land with Chokecherry being 102,207 acres and the Sierra Madre being 118,552 acres-which isn’t listed in the table.

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Now Carbon County is NOT where the EPA just executed a land grab for the Wind River Indian Reservation. That was over in neighboring Riverton, WY-Fremont County. I’m sure it’s just pure coincidence that two enormous federal land grabs are happening at the same time in neighboring counties.

In the fact sheet for the Chokecherry site, there is this blurb:

A SMART, COLLABORATIVE PROCESS: In April 2009, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) committed to helping the nation reach its clean energy future by guaranteeing coordinated processing, full environmental analysis and public review for specific renewable energy projects where the companies involved had demonstrated they were ready to advance to the formal environmental review and public participation process.

Does anybody in fossil, hydro, or nuclear have anything resembling this relationship with the EPA, NRC, etc.? “Guaranteeing coordinated processing.” Because we can’t print or say that we’ll guarantee an outcome explicitly, but we can always make that implicit.

And how convenient that the same administration that is trying to kill off Yucca Mountain (also in Nevada) – which is a direct attack against nuclear power, is trying to replace it with 21 (and counting) BLM sponsored, renewable energy projects in Nevada.

I’m sure that’s just coincidence.

You could put up the “recovery.gov” logo on the BLM raid at the Bundy ranch and it would be nearly 100% true.

So let me see if I understand:


1) If dust forms on (or is directed towards) solar panels, they will need to be cleaned by personnel in order to return to full generation capacity.


2) If some no-account sidewindin’ SOB places 3-5 .30 rounds (mix of ball and AP) into both the mast cap and the nacelle aft of the mast of each windmill, badness and major repairs (also requiring personnel) will ensue.


3) APIT rocks.

Do I understand yet?



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