PSR Tent

Each November the Death Valley area receives both the annual Death Valley Encampment of the Death Valley 49'ers, and Cal4Wheel's annual Panamint Valley Days.

Read more: Busy Fall in Death Valley

Solar energy development in California is largely driven by artificial state mandates that now have utilities increasing their use of expensive renewable energy.

It's a dubious legacy of a state government that can't maintain its highways or keep felons in prison but can arrogantly assign itself the responsibility of curing “climate change” by destroying its citizens' economy.

The tools to fast-track this renewable energy development include preferential regulatory treatment by federal and state agencies along with government “stimulus” incentives, tax breaks and loan-guarantee subsidies.

The costs of all of this will be fully realized when the electric bills come due in the near future. That indicates that this is hardly being driven by economics, but rather by politics. And the politics of saving the planet derive from the same movement that ostensibly tries to protect the environment from the impacts of development.

Read more: Sacrificing the Desert for What?

Dear Readers,

On our popular Death Valley Talk forum I recently threw this log on the campfire:

"Trona and the DRECP:  Scenarios 4 thru 6 have Trona being consumed by a Renewable Energy Development Focus Area. See:"

Regular contributor "" responded:

"So does this mean that under scenarios 4 thru 6 that developers would have a green light to construct solar farms in and around Trona?"

I thought some of you might be interested in my extended reply:

Short answer -- yes.

Read more: DRECP and Trona

Editor's Note: Washington D.C. and Sacramento lawmakers and regulators are currently developing a blueprint for solar and wind energy development across the California desert.  This Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, or DRECP, is slated for completion in June of 2012.  Below are public comments that were recently offered to the DRECP Stakeholder Group on November 18, 2010, reprinted by permission.

Thank you all for continuing to fight the tyranny of charts, graphs, and PowerPoint to work towards enlightened consensus. When I think of California’s desert, I think about a slow, quiet, and hardy place. A place that is as biologically and geologically dynamic as we have in the United States. I think of families of quail; babies with floppy plumes, horned lizards invisible against their habitat, and creosotes born in the Pleistocene going strong.

Read more: Fighting the Tyranny of Charts

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The latest news from inside Death Valley National Park