Dumb Congressman Doesn't Understand Solar Power 'Moratorium,' Either

Rep. John Hall (Dirty Hippie, NY) became a congressman in 2006, when even a naked "soft rock" hippie seemed less dangerous thanMark Foley or Don Sherwood or John Sweeney. Problem is, hippiez r dum! Hall is now sending official congressional spam about the alleged Bush Administration plot to stop solar energy so the Oil Corporates can continue to rule the Earth. Are American enviro-leftists as gullible as the "God DAMN Muslim O'bama's Christian Church" crowd? Let's find out!

From: Congressman John Hall [xxx@johnhallforcongress.com]

Date: Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 8:08 AM

Subject: US Freezes Solar Energy Projects!

To: tips@wonkette.com

Dear Friend,

This shocking announcement was reported by the New York Times today. The Bush administration, while shamelessly pushing to give away oil and gas right on public lands and the outer continental shelf, just announced a two year freeze on new solar projects.

Smarty then quotes a New York Times article from last week:

Citing Need for Assessments, US Freezes Solar Energy Projects

Friday 27 June 2008

By Dan Frosch

DENVER -- Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.

The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states -- Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah ...

The article says, plainly, that more than 130 applications for utility corporations to build massive solar power plants on public land in the West have already been submitted, and that the BLM "will continue processing the more than 130 applications received before May 29, measuring each one’s environmental impact."

You know, kind of like how environmentalists demand that all other energy corporations don't just drill or dig or build wherever they want, on environmentally sensitive federal land?

These "green" companies are already getting huge state and federal subsidies to build their projects for the sole purpose of selling the energy, at a profit, to existing utility companies. Now they're whining because an overwhelmed BLM wants two years to do EIRs on 130+ massive solar farms covering more than a million acres of publicly owned American desert.

The NYT article notes this, but you can't expect people to read anything:

The manager of the Bureau of Land Management’s environmental impact study, Linda Resseguie, said that many factors must be considered when deciding whether to allow solar projects on the scale being proposed, among them the impact of construction and transmission lines on native vegetation and wildlife. In California, for example, solar developers often hire environmental experts to assess the effects of construction on the desert tortoise and Mojave ground squirrel.

Water use can be a factor as well, especially in the parched areas where virtually all of the proposed plants would be built. Concentrating solar plants may require water to condense the steam used to power the turbine.

“Reclamation is another big issue,” Ms. Resseguie said. “These plants potentially have a 20- to 30-year life span. How to restore that land is a big question for us.”

The article then quotes several angry solar-industry officials who claim that doing environmental review on solar plants will "choke" the industry, and then there's one reference to an actual environmental group, which says, duh, obviously you don't cancel basic environmental impact review because some industry is shouting "Green! Green!"

Alex Daue, an outreach coordinator for the Wilderness Society, an environmental conservation group, praised the government for assessing the implications of large-scale solar development.

And you can't spell "Wildnerness Society" without the letters C, E, N and Y -- which are all in CHENEY! (Other Bushbot wingnuts demanding proper environmental review of the federal land giveaway include the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy and dozens of regional desert habitat and land trust groups including the Amargosa Conservancy, the Mojave Land Trust and the Desert Protective Council.)

So where did Hall's staff get the idea that the Bush Administration was somehow crushing the development of solar energy in America, when state and federal governments are in the process of giving away a million acres to more than 130 for-profit solar projects right now? How does a sudden boom in the construction of solar energy plants on federal land fueled by federal and state tax incentives turn into a Darth Cheney McChimptard plot to crush solar energy, when -- until last June -- there hadn't been a large-scale solar plant constructed in America in seventeen years?

The answer, as always, can be found in the posts and comments of our nation's brave, ill-informed blogs:

  • unbelievable, seems they want to make sure they sell every last drop of oil before we can have renewable energy. James Hansen is right, they are criminals.
  • Sigh. I just came across this little tid-bit of news: the Bureau of Land Management has called for a 2-year moratorium on building new Solar Power Plants. So, we can drill and strip mine all we want, but god forbid we install any new solar capacity. This has Bush-administration-logic written all over it. Anyone have further insight?
  • Seriously. In all their foresight and wisdom our federal government just put a moratorium on new solar projects on public land for at least 2 years. Projects that could power 20 million homes. Because of environmental concerns. Say what?
  • Yep it’s true. They aren’t putting a moratorium on coal or nuclear. They are putting the moratorium on solar energy projects. Funny how they cite an environmental impact study for the moratorium, but have no problem with locking in 50 years of coal plants. Where’s the environmental impact study there? I’d say it’s weak and pathetic, but actually I think it shows how strong oil and coal are in this society and they have the politicians in their back pocket and pull them out whenever they see a threat to their hegemony.
  • The key to saving us from environmental catastrophe isn't through a carbon tax, sustainable city planning, or by placing a moratorium on notorious pollutants like coal... no, we must stop the spread of renewable energies like solar power before it's too late! At least that's what the Bureau of Land Management would have you believe.
  • Bush/BLM is preventing the solar companies from doing the environmental impact statements. Every plant has an environmental impact statement done. Bush/BLM is prevent applications and thus preventing the impact statement from being done. No application, no impact statement. Clever of Bush and BLM, but damaging to US national security, economy and environment.
  • It burns me that we all know -- just know -- that this administration, who couldn't be bothered about mercury levels in our water, shoves polar bears off the endangered species list and under the bus because they're inconveniently dying in a way that validates "global warming" and has generally considered any regulations of what may be in our food, our water or our children's toys to be not worth Turdblossoms hairbrush, is now taking this change to hose over a renewable energy industry.

    The fact that this bunch will be gone by the time the study is done is the only reason I think it won't find the program "threatens the endangered jackalope".

  • alkaline 'dirt' that NOTHING grows on.... miles and miles of NOTHING. Hard to believe that ANYTHING could make these places worse than they are. Compared to the roads being cut all over the Colorado Plateau to service oil and gas wells, the roads and timber cuts in National Forests and the over grazed grasslands leased out to cattle ranches, I'm hard pressed to see what 'damage' is possible from fields of solar photovoltaics or focused sun steam plants or whatever else......

(Last batch of comments, obviously, are from Daily Kos.)


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