Department of the Interior

CALIFORNIA'S 9TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HEARS THE APPEAL ON IVANPAH

 

The Underlying Issue Is Freedom of Religion

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales & Robert Lundahl

April 18, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - In a remote corner of the Mojave Desert, 15 miles from Las Vegas, stands the expansive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. Occupying 5 square miles, the facility seems to swallow up a stunning expanse of desert including animals, plants and now, spiritual and cultural resources.

DEPT. OF INTERIOR OFFICIAL DATED ENERGY LOBBYIST, SOUGHT JOB WITH WIND INDUSTRY WHILE INVOLVED IN DECISIONS ON LOCAL ENERGY PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Viejas Chairman Anthony Pico met with Steve Black, a senior counselor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, on February 28, 2012 and sent Black a letter  on March 5, 2012 asking him to visit Ocotillo to address tribal concerns over desecration of cultural resources  from the proposed Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (which was since approved and built). Donna Tisdale, then with Protect Our Communities, has documents showing Black was also involved with federal approval of the controversial Tule Wind project, fielding requests from Iberdrola Renewables to help gain approval of the project in East County despite concerns about eagles.

Neither Pico nor Tisdale had any idea that Black was dating an energy company lobbyist at the time – or that he sought to gain a job as chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the wind industry's trade group, while still employed at the Department of the Interior.   But an investigation by the Department of Interior's Inspector General has raised these concerns and more.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FACES LAWSUIT OVER EAGLE KILL PERMITS AT WIND FARMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The Obama administration is facing a lawsuit over its plan to issue 30-year-permits allowing wind energy companies to kill eagles without facing prosecution.

COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN DESERT PROTECTIVE COUNCIL’S CASE OVER WILDLIFE THREATS POSED BY OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT

UPDATE: February 28, 2013 -- Judge Curiel has denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.  Plaintiff's have not yet announced whether they will file an appeal.  View decision here

 

The codes are quite clear …You can’t take a Swainson’s hawk. Not even one…There is also no take for Peregrine falcons and owls. If turbine curtailment  is good enough for golden eagles, it should be good enough for these species, too.” ----Laurens Silver, attorney for plaintiffs

It is not the BLM’s role to enforce state law…All through downtown there are glass buildings that could cause a take.” – Marissa Piropato, attorney for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management

By Miriam Raftery

Maris Brancheau also contributed to this report

February 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Is the federal government turning a blind eye to violations of state laws intended to protect raptors (birds of prey) and other wildlife at the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility?   That’s the contention of a lawsuit filed by the Desert Protective Council, an environmental group, and others against the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Pattern Energy and others.