Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, April 09, 2007

Greenies Fight To Stop Green Energy

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had great, green ideas for his sprawling burb: He envisioned "the greenest city and cleanest city in America," with 20% of the city's power to be renewable by 2010.

Then the Greenies got in the way.

After the city let electricity producers in Utah know that LA would buy no more of their "dirty" electricity after the current contract expires in 2023, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power drew up plans for an 85-mile-long "Green Path" energy corridor that would bring electricity generated from solar, geothermal and nuclear power sources in southeastern California and Arizona.

Knowing they had to get started now because the clock was ticking for the 2023 deadline when the cheap electricity would have to be replaced with something, LA started the environmental review for its environmentally friendly, greenhouse gas-snuffing Green Path. Such a nice name! So mild and pleasant.

Unless you're the Center for Biological Diversity, a group who's founder has said his goal was no less than the depopulation of the American West; then you see the Green Path as a warpath. The LA Times quotes the CBD:
"Not only is such energy consumption not 'green,' it is unacceptable under any name…. The ends cannot justify the means," Justin Augustine of the Center for Biological Diversity said in a letter to Villaraigosa last week.
CBD doesn't want any energy coming from anywhere. No grid; just self-sufficient mud huts will do -- or better yet, just go back to wherever your ancestors came from and leave the West to the staff of the CBD, who knows how to appreciate the land and deserves to be on it, unlike us.

Other Greenies are less radical than the CBD, but are opposed to the Green Path nonetheless, because cuddly as the name is, it's really just power lines -- power lines that cut through the Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve, the Pipes Canyon Wilderness Preserve and a corner of the San Bernardino National Forest.
DWP officials said they decided on a "preferred alternative" in December after studying possible routes for more than a year. They said the route they chose would be the least intrusive to existing homes, tribal lands, national parks and wilderness areas.

Environmentalists scoffed at that claim. "We were just shocked," preservationist David Myers said of his reaction after looking at a map of the route.
Presumably, since he would agree with the protection of tribal lands, national parks and wilderness areas, Myers was shocked because the protection of homes was a factor in determining the best route.

So we have the Big Monster of global warming battling against the Local Bugaboo of power lines, and in this epic battle, the very Greenies who fret for the future of the planet are taking the Little Bugaboo's side. Here's the LAT again:
"People do not like the way power lines look," said George Douglas, spokesman for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.

He said vast amounts of renewable resources exist across the country. Enough wind turbines could be built in North Dakota to power Chicago. One hundred square miles of desert solar panels in California, Nevada or New Mexico could power most of the United States.

But, Douglas said, "the chances it's going to happen are zero, because nobody's going to build the transmission lines. They're great big things that cost a lot of money, and people don't like them. They are unsightly — there's no two ways about it — and when you build them, they definitely disturb the land."
DWP officials are soldiering on, saying failure is not an option. But they don't understand. When you're up against Greenies, you have to understand that success is not an option. No matter how much they influence your idea to make it smaller and less harming to the environment, no matter how many court cases they win, no matter how much the drive up the cost of housing or energy, they can never accept success.

You don't believe me? Well here in OC, they fought for 30 years to stop the redevelopment of an old, dirty coastal oil field, so they could see the land converted into wetlands. They won, totally.

The water in this photo was supposed to be close to 14,000 homes and a marina. The Greenies fought until no development at all was allowed in the lowland areas, and funds were found to restore it to wetlands.

But boo-hoo, 500 or so homes will be built on the mesa above the land. What a tragedy! What a defeat!

And that's not all -- the wetlands victory is nothing the Greenies can take for granted. In a big confab a couple weeks back, reports an email making the rounds through the local environmental community, one of the leaders of the preservation group had this view:
He listed several continuing threats to Bolsa Chica, including sea level rise due to global warming, urban runoff, oil spills, invasive species, misguided restoration efforts, vandalism, pets and over usage.
Never be satisfied! Never relax in the glow of victory! The Greenies of the world are alone in their struggle to save the planet, so every effort is vital and any loss will plunge the orb into ecological chaos! So they must fight on, they must fight everything, they must never yield, never give up! Never! NEVER!

So they must fight LA's Green Path, and keep it from transporting the very renewable energy they want us to use.

Don't worry. They know what's right for us, and they will fight us until we stop knowing what's right for us.

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