NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

POWER PLAY

April 9, 2010

Legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) would permanently seal off a million acres of the Mojave Desert from solar plants and wind farms.  Since Feinstein is chair of the Senate sub-committee that controls the Interior Department's budget, her wish will be its command, says Liberty Magazine. 

For example: 

  • California is headed by an environmentalist governor who signed into law that by the year 2020, one third of the electricity produced in the state must be from "renewable sources," of which solar and wind power are the most often touted.
  • The Mojave Desert is the best location in California for both solar plants and wind farms.
  • Plans were made for 13 large wind farms and solar plants, which would have gone a long way towards meeting the requirements of the law.  

Feinstein, an environmentalist, has blocked these plans, and this puts her in conflict with another environmentalist, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who grumbled, "This is arguably the best solar land in the world, and Sen. Feinstein shouldn't be allowed to take this land off the table without a proper and scientific environmental review." 

It should be noted that Kennedy (like Al Gore) is heavily invested in "green" energy, says Liberty: 

  • The venture capital firm of which Kennedy is a partner funded a company aiming to open a solar plant in the area.
  • For years however, the Kennedy family have fought plans to build wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod, since their family mansion is in the area. 

Feinstein's concern is that these wind farms and solar plants will be large and ugly and spoil the view from the freeway that runs across the Mojave.  This raises a key question:  Why is the view from some freeway sacrosanct, whereas building such plants elsewhere in the state is OK?  Of course, the ordinary nuclear plant the size of a football field can reliably supply the electricity that solar plants and wind farms covering many square miles do unreliably.  However, Feinstein hates nuclear energy too, says Liberty. 

All of this illustrates what is already clear: Environmentalists are simply not serious about energy production, says Liberty.  

Source: Gary Jason, "Power Play" Liberty Magazine, April 2010.

 

Browse more articles on Environment Issues