Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

PETITION LAUNCHED OPPOSING OPENING MILLIONS OF ACRES OF CALIF. DESERT TO INDUSTRIAL-SCALE ENERGY PROJECTS

 

“Without significant input from the public, from you, this juggernaut will proceed relentlessly, sacrificing millions of acres of desert habitat, wasting precious groundwater, degrading air quality, and “taking” endangered species and other wildlife.” —David Garmon, Borrego Springs, petition author

By Miriam Raftery

November 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Environmentalists have launched a petition at Moveon.org asking the public to sign in opposition to the Desert Renewable Energy Plan, which would open up millions of acres of California deserts to industrial-scale wind and solar projects. Instead, environmental leaders want the California Energy Commission to do an analysis of rooftop solar as an alternative. 

You can sign the petition here:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/we-dont-have-to-sacrifice?source=c.em.mt&r_by=1516679

The petition states: “More renewable energy is available from rooftop solar in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties than will be derived from the siting of utility-scale generating facilities on 2 million acres of desert habitat called for in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The unintended consequences of utility-scale facilities in the desert are becoming known and are unacceptable--dust storms in Lancaster, midair incineration of birds at Ivanpah, depletion of scarce groundwater in Borrego Springs.”

The petition was started by Borrego Springs resident David Garmon, president of the Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy. It is supported by the Desert Protective Council in San Diego and by Basin and Range Watch, another southwest environmental protection organization.

DESERT CONSERVATION PLAN MAKES ITS DEBUT

 

By Nadin Abbott

October 25, 2014 (San Diego) Representatives of state and federal agencies held a public meeting in San Diego at the Hilton in Mission Valley to present the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) to citizens.

The plan, which covers 22 million acres of deserts in California, has the following stated goals according to the program:

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

AWEA CONFERENCE ADDRESSES WIND SITING ISSUES IN THE WEST

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jim Pelley (red-tailed hawk at Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility)

January 20, 2013 (San Diego) – Wind power is now the second largest contributor to “green” energy generation in California, with 75,000 Gigawatts produced to date.  California is on track to meet its ambitious target for a 33% renewable portfolio by 2020, according to Karen Douglas, Chairman of the California Energy Commission. (CEC).   But at what cost to wildlife and the environment? 

Balancing environmental concerns vs. the quest to build mega-energy projects to address climate change is a key challenge facing the wind industry--and a hot topic during a panel titled "Building WInd in the West: Overcoming Siting Issues" at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) conference in San Diego last week.

Douglas’ statement was read by a moderator, due to a last-minute conflict in Sacramento that prevented her attendance. Douglas also addressed the Desert  Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) covering 22 million acres, calling for streamlining of permits to enable development of energy projects including 200,000 to 350,000 acres in San Diego and Imperial Counties.   

DESERT LANDS POLICY: WIND INDUSTRY GETS REALITY CHECK

Reposted with permission; original published August 14, 2012 at http://www.mojavedesertblog.com/2012/08/desert-lands-policy-wind-industr...

By Shaun Gonzales

August 20, 2012 (Mojave Desert)--If you have been listening to the past few stakeholder conferences for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) -- an inter-agency effort to protect desert ecosystems while identifying areas suitable for renewable energy in California's deserts -- then you know that representatives from the California Wind Energy Association (CalWEA) sound disappointed as their plans to industrialize much of California's desert wildlands meet resistance.   Some of the DRECP's proposed development focus areas would only accommodate 2-17% of the nearly 2 million acres to which the wind industry initially requested access. The wind industry expressed frustration during the meetings, wondering aloud why they cannot bulldoze desert, carve hundreds of miles of new roads, and set up massive wind turbines standing over 400 feet tall across public lands.