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MINK MISCARRIAGES, BIRTH DEFECTS AND STILLBIRTHS HEIGHTEN CONCERNS OVER WIND TURBINES

 

Photos: Danish wind farmer blames wind turbines (left) on 1,600 stillbirths and 320 miscarriages (right) among mother minks at his farm.

By Jessica Richmond

June 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – From Denmark to San Diego’s East County, concerns are growing over the safety of wind turbines near pregnant women, pets and livestock. 

Unlike the chemical or food industries, the wind industry has never had to provide safety data backed by any scientific studies on potential impacts of infrasound, noise or stray voltage from wind turbines on human reproductive health or even animals.  But a growing number of deaths and deformities of baby animals near wind turbines, as well as high sterility rates in some adult animals, is heightening fears among people living near wind turbines about potential impacts on their own health—and the health of their children.

ECM has previously reported on a study that found negative impacts from wind turbines on geese and other instances where health problems among livestock were observed near wind turbines including cattle deaths, high rates of stillbirths and miscarriages among horses, chickens laying eggs with no shells, and birth defects among goats, as ECM  reported.

Most alarming, now Kaj Bank Olesen, a mink farmer in Denmark, reports staggering reproductive problems after a wind turbine was erected 328 meters away.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO SAVE DESERT WILDFLOWERS FROM INVASIVE WEEDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2014 (Borrego Springs)--Where have all the flowers gone?

Anza-Borrego has long been famous for its spectacular spring wildflower blooms.  But now the region’s biodiversity is threatened by an invasive weed—the Sahara mustard.

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION PRESIDENT ASKS PUBLIC HELP TO SAVE FOREST LANDS: SUPERVISORS TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON DEVELOPMENT ENCROACHMENT PROPOSAL

 

East County News Service

 

June 23, 2014 (Alpine) – A proposal before the San Diego Supervisors on Wednesday would weaken protections for federal forest lands by allowing development encroachment in East County. The plan could double the size of rural Alpine, putting forest lands at risks, conservationists warn.

Now Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, has issued a plea for the public to contact Supervisors and urge them to support protections granted by the Forest Conservation Initiative that was approved by two-thirds of local voters but recently expired.  Below is the letter he sent to conservationists countywide.

SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL JOINS OTHER CITIES AGAINST AB 2145 "MONOPOLY PROTECTION BILL"

 

By Nadin Abbott

June 19, 2014 (San Diego)—On Monday, San Diego City Council  joined cities across California, including Chula Vista, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and Menlo Park, as well as the counties of Monterey, Marin, Los Angeles and San Benito in asking the State Senate not to pass AB 2145.

THE OCOTILLO WIND FARM KEEPS LIMPING ON

 

By Roy L Hales

Photos Credit: Parke Ewing

Originally published in the ECOreport

The Ocotillo Wind Farm keeps limping on. According to a recent article in East County Magazine, the site was producing just under 18% of capacity during the first quarter of 2014. As that was the windy season, it seems unlikely that Ocotillo will beat the slightly less than 16% average they set for the first for year of operation (2013). Then there is what the Bureau of Land Management keeps refering to as "general maintenance."

SDSU HOSTS SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE JUNE 16 - 20

 

June 12, 2014 (San Diego)- -For the first time ever, San Diego State University is hosting the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, June 16-20. Associated Students will welcome nearly 1,000 attendees from all over California to share best practices and lessons learned in implementing sustainability on campuses.

EPA'S PROPOSED REGULATION WILL CUT CARBON EMISSIONS BY 30%

 

 

By Jaden Jimenez

 

June 5, 2014 - The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a regulation Monday that would cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by up to to 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, the Washington Post reports.

LACKLUSTER POWER PRODUCTION CONTINUES AT OCOTILLO WIND

 

May 31, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Last month, our article, “Was it fraud?”  raised serious questions over whether Pattern Energy exaggerated wind capacity factor claims to pocket federal subsidies for its Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility.  That story revealed that in calendar year 2013, the facility produced less than half  of the 34% capacity factor promised by the developer.

LEARN HOW TO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY NOW WITH LOW-COST LED BULBS

 

Community tailgate at SDG&E offices June 6 in El Cajon and July 7 in Chula Vista

East County News Service

June 4, 2014 (El Cajon)--SDG&E is going to have Community Tailgates at its branch offices, providing information on programs, services and solutions to your energy needs. Their partners, TechniArt, will be on hand offering 3 light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs for $10 (which is a $60 value) along with additional LED sizes.

LEDs use far less electricity, and because they don’t have a filament to burn out, they last up to five times  longer than compact florescent bulbs. And LEDs offer a “cleaner” light than  compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. The LEDs use so much less electricity and last so much longer that the cost savings over a traditional incandescent bulb is about $540 over the life of the bulb. That’s a solid return on the investment of $3.33 per bulb in this special offer.

DID CALIFORNIA'S OIL LOBBY BUY SB -1132?

 

Originally Published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

June 1, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The biggest lobby group in California is the oil sector. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), alone, spent $1.4 million during the first three months of 2014. Senate Bill 1132 called for a seven month moratorium of fracking while the Natural Resources Agency conducted “an independent scientific study” to ascertain what dangers fracking presents to Californians and the environment. When a bill like this is defeated, (tied 16-16, with 8 abstaining) one has to wonder why. Did California’s oil lobby buy SB 1132?

BREAKING NEWS: AB 2145 PASSES ASSEMBLY: CALIFORNIA'S "UTILITY MONOPOLY POWER GRAB OF 2014"

 

Originally published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

May 29, 2014 (Sacramento)--The California Assembly passed AB 2145 by a 51-15 vote. A broad and diverse coalition of business, local government, community and environmental organizations have decried the Assembly’s passage of what they are calling California’s ‘Utility Monopoly Power Grab of 2014.’

AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING?

 

An analysis on the impacts of energy policies and projects on the future of East County

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A growing number of East County residents, fire chiefs, environmentalists and elected officials are voicing alarm over the proposed large-scale destruction of natural and scenic resources for numerous industrial-scale “renewable” wind and solar energy projects and related powerlines, substations and more.  A map reveals that East County is targeted for a disproportionate share of these projects, pushed forward by energy companies and politicians who contend such development is needed to disrupt disastrous effects of global warming and fill the regional energy gap left by closing San Onofre nuclear generation stations.

But opponents say these projects are not green or sustainable, instead setting up our region for an ecological disaster in the making. They raise some crucial questions:

How did San Diego’s East County come to be targeted for fast-tracking by federal, state and county governments to facilitate construction of so many massive-scale solar and wind projects and related transmission lines in rural, mountain and desert areas instead of urban locations where demand for power is highest? 

Why isn’t preference given to incentivize less destructive renewable options, such as rooftop and parking lot solar or small-scale wind turbines for use by residents, schools, municipal governments and businesses?

PETITION LAUNCHED TO HALT POWER GRAB BY UTILITIES

 

May 24, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Community opposition is growing to a bill, AB 2145, that  would make it harder for communities to invest in clean energy through community choice aggregation, i.e., giving consumers alternatives on where to buy their electricity.  Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts are among those who have signed a petition asking the State Legislature to oppose the measure.   You can view those who have signed it here:  http://www.no2145.org/

You can read and sign the petition here:  http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/stop-the-utility-power-grab-1?sp_ref=43541140.4.7738.e.0.2&source=mailto_sp

IS PG&E MAKING A MOCKERY OF CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL 790?

 

 

Originally published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

May 22, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - California Senate Bill 790 (SB 790) bans utility companies from using ratepayer funds for negative publicity campaigns against local community utilities ( community choice aggregators, or CCA). They are now required to file the details of any anti-CCA marketing with the California Public Utilities Commission. Only PG&E has not filed in the case of AB 2145 (popularly known as the “Monopoly Protection Act” ) because the marketing is being done by associated third parties.

SYMPOSIUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE FINDS COMMON GROUND

 

By Jeffrey Meyer

May 14, 2014 (San Diego) -- Various community and industry leaders found common ground on the conflictive issue of climate change, at a University of San Diego symposium Tuesday, agreeing that it is important that we act now to avoid the worst affects of global warming.

HIKERS WIN CASE OVER FEES CHARGED IN NATIONAL FORESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Forest Service cannot charge day use fees to hikers who don’t use facilities, a federal judge ruled on  April 30th.

SANTREE FEST CELEBRATION MAY 10 IN SANTEE

 

May 9, 2010 (Santee) – The City of Santee invites the public to its annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, May 10 from 8 a..m. to 2 p.m. at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive in Santee.  

This free event includes tree planting and river cleanup at 9:30 a.m., as well as continuous live entertainment including Ramshackle, interactive demonstrations with Dr Zoolittle, the San Diego Zoo, Project Wildlife, Living coast Discovery Center, the Hummingbird Lady, Green Machine, Suzie’s Farm and Krusin Kritters. There will also be vendor booths, crafters and a kids’ zone with carnival rides, games, crafts and inflatables.

CALIFORNIAN LEGISLATION THREATENS COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATES

 

Critics call bill a "poison pill" aimed at restricting the ability of local municipalities to provide consumers with alternatives to  buying power from utilities

By Roy L Hales

Originally published at the Eco Report: http://www.theecoreport.com/green-blogs/technology/energy/utilities-energy-energy-articles/californian-legislation-threatens-community-choice-aggregates/

 

May 4, 2014 (San Diego)--The second of California’s community choice aggregates (CCA) was  launched amidst state legislation (AB 2145) that could restrict further competition with established utilities.

WAS IT FRAUD? EXPERTS RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS AFTER LOW FIRST-YEAR ENERGY PRODUCTION AT OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT

 

Elected officials suppressed key report, failed to halt project or recover taxpayer dollars

“It was heartbreaking to see this project desecrate such a historically and culturally significant landscape, and it’s even worse when you find out that it was built on false claims by the developer, and with the assistance of the BLM. "-- Anthony Pico, Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

An East County Magazine special investigation

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (Ocotillo) – An international wind energy expert has concluded that Pattern Energy appears to have defrauded the federal government in order to obtain lucrative tax subsidies for a wind energy development in southern California that has failed to live up to the developer’s claims.

“I believe we have a clear case for the False Claims Act,” Nicolas Boccard told East County Magazine, after reviewing full first-year wind production data for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility on U..S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land.  The project produced only about half of the energy that Pattern claimed it would produce—far below levels deemed viable for a wind project, a second expert confirms. 

These dismal results are no surprise to Boccard, who predicted in a report written before construction of the project was  completed that Ocotillo lacks sufficient wind speeds to sustain a viable wind energy project.

So were Pattern's lofty wind speed claims nothing more than spin?

HOT TOPIC: U.S. MAYORS REPORT ON PROGRESS TO CUT EMISSIONS THROUGH ENERGY SAVINGS & TECHNOLOGY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jessica Richmond

“A majority of cities (53%) – 149 of the 282 cities – have committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the result of a mayoral pledge and/or formal city council action.”

Solar and conservation measures ranked highly by mayors, wind turbines ranked least promising

April 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The U.S. Conference of Mayors recently  have focused efforts on creating a plan to increase energy efficiency, while reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and carbon emissions. The nonpartisan organization consists of mayors from 1,398 cit­ies with populations of 30,000 or more.

Under the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, signers have pledged to try and limit their cities carbon emissions, reduce GHG emissions, along with pushing local state and federal actors to “do their part” in order to help reduce environmental air pollution.  Now a new report reveals data on actions pursued in cities across America to reach these goals.

HOW MUCH WILDLIFE CAN USA AFFORD TO KILL?

 

America’s wind farms are actually slaughtering millions of birds and bats annually



By Mark Duchamp, Save the Eagles International and World Council for Nature

Originally published at http://www.theecoreport.com/green-blogs/sustainability/conservation/wildlife/how-much-wildlife-can-usa-afford-to-kill/  

April 26, 2014 (San Diego)--The Obama administration is issuing 30-year permits for “taking” (killing) bald and golden eagles. The great birds will be legally slaughtered “unintentionally” by lethal wind turbines installed in their breeding territories, and in "dispersion areas" where their young congregate (e.g. Altamont Pass).

MAYOR VOEPEL OPPOSES QUAIL BRUSH EXTENSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Last week, we reported that applicants for the controversial gas-fired Quail Brush Power plant proposal asked the California Energy Commission to extend a suspension for another year and keep alive the potential to revive the project proposed next to Mission Trails Regional Park in San Diegio and schools in Santee.

LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS OVER WIND ORDINANCE SET FOR COURT HEARING APRIL 25

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A lawsuit filed against San Diego Supervisors asks the court to set aside the County’s new wind energy ordinance and an amendment to Boulevard’s community plan.  The case will be heard on Friday, April 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court, Department C-72, with Judge Timothy Taylor presiding. The courthouse is located at 220 West Broadway, San Diego.

The suit was filed by two community groups-- the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps-- and  by Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group. Plaintiffs seek to half industrial wind development in their backcountry community. They contend that such projects pose serious impacts to wildlife, water resources, human health and safety that the Board ignored.

SOLAR ROADWAYS MOVE CLOSER TO FEASIBILITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – In 2012, we reported on a potentially promising new technology to build roadways out of glass capable of producing solar power.

BUTTERFLIES AND BIRDS FALLING PREY TO SOLAR POWER TOWER AT IVANPAH

 

 

 

 

 

Photo (left): Ivanpah Solar testing; photo by  Tom Budlong

Photo (center): warbler with over 50% of its feathers burned was found alive, but died of its injuries

Monarch butterfly (photo, right) numbers are down 90% in the most recent Pacific migration

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Last month we reported that themonarch butterflies’ annual migration to Mexico is down 90%.  Various theories have been proposed.  But now a newly released study by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reveals  that “hundreds  upon hundreds of butterflies” including monarchs, along with dragonflies, were found dead at the Ivanpah solar site.

NATURE SUSTAINABLE LIVING LECTURE SERIES

 

April 14, 2014 (Mt. Helix) -- On Saturday, May 17, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, part two of Mt. Helix Park’s Nature/Sustainable Living lecture series will be held in the ampitheater atop Mt. Helix.This free, one-hour lecture on landscaping with California native plants will feature guest  speaker, Greg Rubin, President of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc. and co-author of "The  California Native Landscape: The Homeowner's Guide to Restoring Its Beauty and Balance.”

EARTHTALK(R): EARTH DAY 2014

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

April 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Dear EarthTalk: What’s going on with Earth Day this year and how can I get involved? -- Christine B., Boston, MA

This coming April 22 will mark the 44th annual celebration of Earth Day, and the focus this year will be green cities. “As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever,” reports Earth Day Network, the Seattle-based non-profit that helps coordinate Earth Day celebrations and serves as a clearinghouse for related information and resources. The group hopes to galvanize the support of more than a billion people across 192 countries this Earth Day for increasing the sustainability and reducing the carbon footprints of urban areas everywhere.

COURT GRANTS PARTIAL VICTORY TO OPPONENTS OF SEMPRA'S CROSS-BORDER TRANSMISSION LINE PROJECT

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)  -- U.S. District Court Judge M. James Lorenz has issued a ruling in a case challenging the U.S. Department of Energy’s approval of a Presidential Permit issued for Sempra Energy's cross-border transmission line. The line would connect Sempra’s Energia Sierra Juarez Wind project in northern Baja, Mexico with SDG&E’s $435 million ECO substation now under construction.

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