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By Miriam Raftery

May 16, 2012 (San Diego) – On Friday at 2 p.m., a federal judge will consider a temporary restraining order motion filed by the Quechan Indian tribe seeking to halt construction at the Ocotillo Express wind facility site on federal land.

Despite discovery of six more cremation sites with what are believed to be human remains (12 sites total) that federal law requires be preserved, Pattern Energy is moving forward with heavy equipment, destroying vast acreage in the fragile Yuha desert near Ocotillo.

Environmentalists have decried the destruction of habitat and plants. In the past two days, ECM photographer Jim Pelley has documented destruction of burrowing owl dens and towering ocotillo groves.

 Yesterday, a coalition of tribes, environmentalists and residents held a press conference yesterday calling on President Barack Obama to halt the construction at Ocotillo and to stop the fast-tracking of massive energy projects on public lands. 

 Today, representatives of the group urged the public to attend the hearing on Friday to show support for an injunction to halt further destruction on the 12,500 acre site, at least until a further cultural resources assessment can be completed. 

The motion will be heard by Judge William Q. Hays in Courtroom 4 at the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego, starting at 2 p.m.  Friday. (Note: We've received conflicting addresses; 940 Front Street or 880 Front Street, both on same block; watch for clarification.)



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Alternative energy

I do not understand the reversal of environmental arguments regarding alternative energy sources. It seems to me that a few years ago all you read about was how bad coal,oil, and nuclear power sources were and that we needed to find clean green methods of producing power. I guess wind energy is no longer one of those. The same goes for solar power. Even the big bad power companies have been mandated to provide clean green energy by state and federal law as a result of environmental activism in the past. What suggestions do opponents of wind and solar power have for producing energy?

Cover parking lots and roofs with solar in already-built areas.

Imagine how much power could be produced if you put solar on parking lot covers over all those parking lots at shopping malls, colleges, and large companies for starters. That could get the job done fast.


We know solar is viable. There are already many homes here that have gone off-grid entirely, producing more power than than need with solar. Make utilities buy back excess solar and watch how fast San Diegans will put it up.   Even if you subsidized it somewhat it would be less than the zillions these big wind companies are getting and at least the tax dollars would benefit taxpayers for a change.  Small scale vertical axis turbines are also viable.

There's also conservation (over 50% of electricity used is in buildings) and alternative fuels for vehicles. The Navy is preparing to launch a green fleet powered by 50% alga-based fuels grown in vats -- ie renewable.


Covered parking lots and roofs with solar

I like the idea of covered parking lots with solar panels but the funds to build these still comes out of the tax payer pocket because the programs in place that provide the incentive to install these are funded in part by local, state and federal budgets. For example, the local school district is planning to do this by use of the new bond issue funds if it passes. The selling point is that this "free enerrgy" is a good thing but in reality the installation cost will be miniscule in comparison the the ever lasting maintenance and upkeep expenses.

It will takes thousands and thousands of small solar and wind facilities to equal the power produced by the large commercial facilities. If I could afford to add solar or wind generators to my own home I would but it is not cost effective. Therefore, I rely on the private sector utility companies to get the job done.

Either way we all pay for the clean green energy and these private sector companies that invest in the privately funded programs are the easiest and quickest way to get more of it sooner rather than later.

Are they destroying evidence?

They may want to destroy evidence ASAP. If remains or anything else damning is found you will not hear about it. Just like it has been with the whooping cranes. Dozens and dozens of these birds have disappeared during their central flyway migrations in the last several years. But the reason is NEVER the turbines or wind energy development. The whopping crane population had been increasing for decades, now it has flat-lined for the last 5 years. Even with captive bred individuals pumped into the population the population has stopped growing. During this same time period, bird killing wind energy developement has exploded in the central states. This year many more whooping cranes are missing and the USFWS is now (conventionally on behalf of the wind industry) changing their surveys to give estimates. This all smells even worse than the railroading of the Ocotillo wind project.  Do not count on Barrack Obama, we saw him in action with BP and the Oil spill. He works for business not the people.

 Count on Barack Obama!? Au


Count on Barack Obama!? Au Contraire! He and his henchman, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, are now THE driving forces behind wind farm idiocy.

Barack Obama doesn't work for these businesses. They work for him. Private money, sans government subsidies, doesn't regard wind energy as anything other than what it actually is--a lot of hot air. They're just taking advantage of--and making millions off!--his hand-outs.  Were it not for Obama's obsession with this fantasy and the billions he has wasted on its implimentation, the closest thing to turbines you'd ever see would be windmills on farms.

  It's hard to believe.



It's hard to believe. Tens of thousands of acres of pristine desert wilderness--an area approximately the size of of San Diego itself--about to be bulldozed into oblivion and covered with hundreds of 45 story (450 ft.) wind turbines, all in order to satisfy (nothing more than) an unholy alliance of ideological insanity, conscienceless political ambition and private greed.