U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects

June 27th, 2008

Do you get it yet?

Via: New York Time:

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.

But the decision to freeze new solar proposals temporarily, reached late last month, has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from swaths of sun-baked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Holly Gordon, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs for Ausra, a solar thermal energy company in Palo Alto, Calif. “The Bureau of Land Management land has some of the best solar resources in the world. This could completely stunt the growth of the industry.”

Much of the 119 million surface acres of federally administered land in the West is ideal for solar energy, particularly in Arizona, Nevada and Southern California, where sunlight drenches vast, flat desert tracts.

Galvanized by the national demand for clean energy development, solar companies have filed more than 130 proposals with the Bureau of Land Management since 2005. They center on the companies’ desires to lease public land to build solar plants and then sell the energy to utilities.

Related: America’s Military Spending and Clean Energy

Posted in Energy | Top Of Page

6 Responses to “U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects”

  1. Bigelow Says:

    What is there to say? You are right. The pattern, repeated since the 1970s is to allow, then thwart any real competition to fossil fuels and to hell with the majority of our future circumstances.

    Any particular hindering action may seem capricious or random, but looking at the big picture, the fact that competing energy systems already exist and the energy potentially available is huge, then there is an over all pattern and the end results are always the same: dependency on fossil fuels.

    Go back even farther, to the beginning of the last century. In 1914 Henry Ford had second thoughts about gasoline and built prototype electric Model T vehicles with Thomas Edison. The electric Ford never competed in the marketplace however after suspicious fires destroyed Edison’s fire-proof laboratories!

  2. Bigelow Says:

    You can carry this whole “to hell with them” attitude further, it explains why edible fruit trees are usually absent in publics parks…can’t have nature’s bounty available to eat for free, it weakens the scarcity mindset in the peasants.

  3. anothernut Says:

    But the study will only take 2 years! And the oil majors will only get no-bid contracts in Iraq lasting 2 years!

    No, it’s not a conspiracy, per se. But I’d guess that those who succeed by lying to us instinctually know that, for defusing possible resistance, 2 years is a nice number: long enough so we’ll give up interest now (“ok, but we’ll be back in 2 years!”), but not so long as to cause us to freak out now (“well, it’s not like it’s 20 years!).

  4. dale Says:

    Yes (and thanks)

  5. pdugan Says:


  6. quintanus Says:

    Mercedes is stopping gasoline car production within a few years: http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1800/69/

    The women who wrote Dam Nation went on a book tour organized as community discussion events. Their theme is advocacy of ‘hacking’ a house’s plumbing, even violating building codes, for greywater and efficiency. My opinion is that doing this for water or electricity conservation is progressive not for saving the planet but for helping the poor avoid high bills and heating their house with low income. http://www.greywaterguerrillas.com/

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