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.)