Free Markets, Free People

Where’s the EPA in the Mojave Desert? Heck, where are the environmentalists?

Funny how some projects attract the EPA like flies to, well, you know and others?  Meh.  The LA Times reports:

Construction cranes rise like storks 40 stories above the Mojave Desert. In their midst, the "power tower" emerges, wrapped in scaffolding and looking like a multistage rocket.

Clustered nearby are hangar-sized assembly buildings, looming berms of sand and a chain mail of fencing that will enclose more than 3,500 acres of public land. Moorings for 173,500 mirrors — each the size of a garage door — are spiked into the desert floor. Before the end of the year, they will become six square miles of gleaming reflectors, sweeping from Interstate 15 to the Clark Mountains along California’s eastern border.

BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power project will soon be a humming city with 24-hour lighting, a wastewater processing facility and a gas-fired power plant. To make room, BrightSource has mowed down a swath of desert plants, displaced dozens of animal species and relocated scores of imperiled desert tortoises, a move that some experts say could kill up to a third of them.

Despite its behemoth footprint, the Ivanpah project has slipped easily into place, unencumbered by lasting legal opposition or public outcry from California’s boisterous environmental community.

Interesting.  No EPA interference.  The Enviro crowd rolls over.  The project has all of the things which in normal circumstances (i.e. if it was a petro-chemical project) would have it tied up for years both in red tape and court cases.

But for this?


Endangered species?  Fuggitaboutit.  This is important ideological agenda stuff for the “enviro” crowd.

Away from public scrutiny, they crafted a united front in favor of utility-scale solar development, often making difficult compromises.

Compromises?  It is full-scale capitulation.  It is abject hypocrisy.  It is an example of why the environmental community is seen by many as more ideologically driven than environmentally driven.  It explains why their motives are suspect.

Take a look at this page in which you’ll see a conception of the finished project, the impact it has on the desert and the number of projects being developed in California and then just ask yourself what that same environmental community would be doing if the name of the developer was Exxon-Mobil instead of BrightSource.

"The scale of impacts that we are facing, collectively across the desert, is phenomenal," said Dennis Schramm, former superintendent at neighboring Mojave National Preserve. "The reality of the Ivanpah project is that what it will look like on the ground is worse than any of the analyses predicted."

In the fight against climate change, the Mojave Desert is about to take one for the team.

Yet barely a whimper raised by environmentalists over the scale and impact of these projects on what they claim to hold most sacred. 



Twitter: @McQandO

23 Responses to Where’s the EPA in the Mojave Desert? Heck, where are the environmentalists?

  • Apparently, the Kennedy family does not have a compound within sight.

  • Was there an EIS or EA done? I don’t think it’s even possible to do a project of this sort without at least doing a no-impact EA.

  • Besides the fact that BrightSource Energy is an Israeli company, and that they were accused of putting the project on sacred Indian .. err .. Native American sites, it appears that the environmental community rolled over in the name of “climate change” for both BrightSource Energya and Solar Millennium.

    “Climate change is the greatest environmental threat facing humanity. To the local Mojave wildlife and ecosystem, it is certainly a bigger threat than solar panels. Therefore, insofar as the Blythe Solar Power Project makes major strides in the climate fight, it is worth the local ecosystem costs.”

    • @Neo_ Uh, yeah, because a global climate change that might harm in the future them is much more harmful than tearing up their ecosystem, for sure, today. I see.

      We had to destroy their ecosystem in order to save it….where’s Peter Arnett when you really need him?

    • @Neo_ Uh, yeah, because a global climate change that might harm them in the future is much more horrible and harmful than tearing up their ecosystem, for certain, today.

      I see.

      So, to recycle a leftist meme from the days of my youth –
      “We had to destroy their ecosystem in order to save it….”

      Where’s Peter Arnett when you really need him?

      • @looker @Neo_ Hey, eggs…omelet…you know. Geez, it’s like this never had to be done before… “The good of the many…”

        • @Ragspierre @Neo_ “The good of the many…”

          is outweighed by the needs of the Snail Darter?


          You’re going to take my “Junior Apprentice” title away again, aren’t you…..

        • @looker @Neo_ No, no, no. The Snail Darter formulation works with Old & Busted…i.e. “dirty” energy (including hydroelectric). See…???

          Where we are working with New & Green, Snail Darters are just bait. Simple, really. Old & Busted: New & Green. Trumps everything.

        • @Ragspierre @Neo_ So…then…. we can do whatever we like? I mean provided what we like is green?

        • @looker @Neo_ Excellent, Grasshopper…you have learned well. Now, pass the Snail Darter paste, my cracker is dry.

      • @looker I wonder if they will demand it be removed if they finally come around and decide that “Climate Change” remediation is best left to God, Gaia (or her parents, Chaos) or simply Mother Nature.

        • @Neo_ I don’t mind if they can build a reliable alternate energy power plant (it would be nice if they did it on their own dime….).

  • Betcha a BUNCH of money you could build a really powerful gas-turbine plant complex with MULTIPLES of the out-put with a FRACTION of the foot print.

  • Betcha a BUNCH of money you could build a really powerful gas-turbine plant complex with MULTIPLES of the out-put with a FRACTION of the foot print.

  • I expect that my kids or grandkids will get to run their jeeps around the ruins of that powerplant. It will go broke, and for some time will probably be fenced off and guarded, but it will end up another desert curiosity.

    • @Don S I have one real question. This is the Mojave desert. While I can understand a possible solar facility, the gas powered portion has got to need water to operate. Where do they get the water ?

  • Wait….you’re telling me that any left-special interest group is really a bunch of hypocrites?

    Shocked I tell ya! Next thing you’ll be telling me that the anti-war protestors were only useful idiots for the Democrats who would fade away the second they captured the White House!

  • Bearing in mind that the sun only provides energy during daylight hours when it isn’t cloudy, what is the peak energy output of this installation? How does it compare to a typical fossil fuel power plant’s energy output?