Part IV in our series on the Ocotillo Express Wind project, which would feed electricity into SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink bound for San Diego.
By Miriam Raftery
“Jobs are temporary but the destruction of our desert is forever. All of this culture and history will be lost…all in the name of greed.” – Linda Ewing, Ocotillo
“This is an economically important project for our community.”—Katie Figari, Chief Executive Officer, Brawley Chamber of Commerce
March 29, 2012 (Ocotillo) – A conditional use permit, height variances and mitigation were approved by an 8-1 vote yesterday at the Imperial Valley Planning Commission meeting.
Planners, wooed by the applicant’s estimate that $150 million in tax revenues will flow into county coffers over the project’s 30-year-life, along with a projected 350 construction jobs and at most 20 permanent jobs, opted to ignore the very grave concerns voiced by tribal leaders, environmentalists, health workers and many residents. Those concerns include dangerous and destructive potential of the project, as well as federal fast-tracking that has trampled long-held rights of residents and tribes.