Written by James Simpson
The Blaze yesterday reported that the Communist Chinese energy company ENN, which had planned to build a massive solar energy complex on 9,000 acres in Clark County, Nevada, gave up on the project last June. On Friday, this column had erroneously reported the project as being current. While the Blaze was correct on this point, it missed the larger story. The effort to bring solar power to the southwest did not end with the ENN project. This is a massive endeavor covering six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. More are planned and Sen. Harry Reid is right there in the middle of them.
The BLM said that rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle were a hazard for the endangered desert tortoise, and for that reason, no cattle could graze that land. While the solar installations are not to be on the land in dispute, they would cause so much damage to other areas that the BLM plans to "mitigate" the effects by using the land for the tortoise. In March 2014 the BLM published what it calls a "mitigation strategy" to offset damages to the natural environment by large scale solar energy development. In its own words:
The “Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone” recommends a strategy for compensating for certain unavoidable impacts that are expected from the development of the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in southern Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to manage the public lands in a manner that will protect the quality of ecological and environmental values and provide for wildlife habitat in a way that does not result in the permanent impairment of the productivity of the land. While the BLM places a priority on mitigating impacts to an acceptable level onsite, there are times when onsite mitigation alone may not be sufficient. In these cases, which are likely to occur with utility-scale solar development, which often involves a long-term commitment of resources over a relatively large area, the BLM is considering requirements for regional mitigation for those unavoidable impacts that could exacerbate problematic regional trends. (Emphasis added.)
Utility-scale solar energy is destructive to the environment. Solar panels blanket vast swaths of land, making it useless for anything else. Little can survive underneath, and the structures often kill birds, either because they fly into them or are fried in the intense heat generated from reflected sunlight. Just like wind power, solar is hugely expensive, four times the cost of gas-fired plants, and produces far less electricity. The Ivanpah solar farm that opened in February in the California desert takes up five square miles. It will produce enough energy to light 140,000 homes, 1.1 percent of California's 12.2 million occupied housing units, at a construction cost of $2.2 billion.
Furthermore, as with Solyndra, all the new "green" energy projects require vast government subsidies. The Ivanpah plant survives on a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee - you can kiss that money goodbye - and an investment tax credit that expires in 2016. This need for continual subsidization means government must get involved, and when government gets to pick winners and losers, it is a prescription for political corruption. With these "green" energy projects, the only greening done is in the pockets of well-positioned politicians and their cronies, and that is its true purpose. Does anyone in their right mind really think Cleanface (the Mob's nickname) Harry Reid cares a whit about the desert tortoise?
So while the Chicoms might have enough sense to pull out of this boondoggle, that certainly won't stop old Cleanface. On March 21, 2014, Reid participated in a ground breaking ceremony for the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project. This facility is much closer to the Bundy Ranch. There may not be Chinese Communist money behind it, but if Reid is out there digging in with a shovel, you can bet he is digging for gold. Referring to the Bundy Ranch situation, Reid announced Monday that "this thing is not over..." When asked by a reporter about reports of Reid's involvement with the Communist Chinese solar energy plant, Reid noted that the ENN project is dead but said nothing about the Paiute project. So the BLM will certainly not give up on its claim to the land. How that works out remains to be seen.
If seen to its conclusion, this project will destroy vast areas of the Southwest over six states, threatening environment and economy for an energy project that will cost countless billions in tax dollars. It will ultimately fail, as they all do, and we taxpayers will be left holding the bag, while corrupt politicians like Cleanface Harry Reid will go laughing all the way to the bank. This is the real scandal, and it should cause an uproar from all Americans, but especially those who live in the affected states.
Whatever the legal arguments are, the BLM has clearly been abusing its authority, and most decidedly not in the interest of the desert tortoise or any other inhabitant, human or animal. It is said over 50 ranchers have been driven from their land in Clark County. The land should be reopened to ranchers and the plans for solar energy farms and other boondoggles abandoned. Cliven Bundy has done all Americans a huge favor by bringing this to our attention, and those 600 plus individuals that traveled to his ranch to stand by his side are true patriots.
Alex Jones at Infowars.com originally broke the story of Reid's involvement in the Ranch fiasco. He also uncovered this new Paiute project. He has done yeoman's work here. Getting to the truth in these fast moving stories takes time. Beck contributed by discovering that the Chinese abandoned their project last year, but he has missed the true dimensions of this story. Harry Reid is one of the most corrupt politicians in U.S. history. With his son first serving on the Clark County Board of Commissioners and then shilling for the Chicoms, while his senior advisor takes up a leadership position in the BLM, you have to know something is up. Get with it, Glenn.
James Simpson is an economist, businessman and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at Right Side News, American Thinker, Accuracy in Media, Breitbart, PJ Media, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on Twitter & Facebook