Monday, December 21, 2009

Sen. Feinstein Chooses Vistas Over Renewable Resources

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) seems to have made her choice. She'd rather prevent the construction of 13 wind or solar powered facilities on 1 million acres in the Mojave Desert than reduce the American reliance on coal, oil, and natural gas. She's hoping to turn wide swaths of the desert into National Monuments, and even if the legislation doesn't come to pass, she's now on the record on opposing the wind and solar power that can help reduce emissions that President Obama promised at Copenhagen.
But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants will likely be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.

Developers of the projects have already postponed several proposals or abandoned them entirely. The California agency charged with planning a renewable energy transmission grid has rerouted proposed power lines to avoid the monument.

“The very existence of the monument proposal has certainly chilled development within its boundaries,” said Karen Douglas, chairwoman of the California Energy Commission.

For Mrs. Feinstein, creation of the Mojave national monuments would make good on a promise by the government a decade ago to protect desert land donated by an environmental group that had acquired the property from the Catellus Development Corporation.

“The Catellus lands were purchased with nearly $45 million in private funds and $18 million in federal funds and donated to the federal government for the purpose of conservation, and that commitment must be upheld. Period,” Mrs. Feinstein said in a statement.
California also promised to reduce emissions. How exactly can California or the US meet its goals if politicians like Feinstein can step in the way and thwart prime locations for alternative energy siting.

This is yet another sign that Democrats like Feinstein aren't serious about reducing emissions or about reducing the reliance on oil.

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