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US Calls for Moratorium on Solar...WHA?!

The world is such a strange place. Faced with the burgeoning demand sunny land in the southwest United States, the Bureau of Land Management (the US agency that controls government-owned lands that aren't forests) has decided to put a two-year moratorium new solar power plants. During this period, they're going to be doing studies on the impact that solar power plants have on desert habitat and levitra generic wildlife.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of environmental assessments, and solar power projects do have significant impacts on sensitive lands. Some of the areas for proposed solar power, I'm sure, are going to be inappropriate for that use. Roads have to be built, concrete is laid down, and electrical transmission lines have to be built.

But solar power projects have significantly less environmental impact than, say, oil and gas exploration or cattle grazing. Those happen to be the purchase of levitra two most common uses of BLM lands. Yet, somehow they haven't called for a moratorium on new oil and gas development. How odd...

What we're seeing here is yet another example (like the 600 year waiting list for wind power permits) of a government that is extremely slow to adapt to new circumstances. The BLM has no idea how to properly conduct an environmental assessment for a solar project. So, instead of figuring it out as they permit them, they're simply stopping all development.

This simply can't be allowed. The permits that the BLM is working through could power more than 10% of the households in the United States. This is the first opportunity we've ever had to make renewable energy a significant part of cialis soft tab the energy mix in America.

Solar stocks are down significantly on this news. The BLM's lands are crucial to making solar power mainstream. This break could be deadly to many young solar companies. If anyone in our government is paying attention, they need to increase the BLM's funding so they can deal with this influx without having to take a two year break. And it has to be done now.

Via NYTimes

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Comments (33)Add Comment
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written by EV, June 27, 2008
Hank, I think you may have misunderstood what they are doing. They are putting up a moratorium on new applications until they get the new rules worked out as you said. HOWEVER, they are still going to continue working through the existing applications.
In the meantime, bureau officials emphasized, they will continue processing the overseas buy viagra more than 130 applications received before May 29, measuring each one’s environmental impact.
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written by Clinch, June 27, 2008
But if the applications aren't significantly quicker after the 2 year hiatus on applications, then it will still take 2 years, as after the hiatus, they will need time to assess the new applications.

Actually, the build up of unprocessed applications over 2 years will require more time to process.

But that's not the point, the point is that any gap of time (be it a few months, or several years) is going to have a negative impact, and may not even be necessary.
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written by Neil, June 27, 2008
Let's make government listen!

A) Call up your representatives.

B) Elect Obama.

C) Interact with progressive corporations and vote with your dollars!
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And...
written by Pete, June 28, 2008
It is very important that an environmental impact study is carried out, otherwise it is likely that uncontrolled growth of solar farms will result in extinctions of wildlife.

This can all be avoided by sensible use of nuclear power.
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what about coal, gas, oil, nuclear minin
written by kballs, June 28, 2008
Why no environmental study and moratorium on coal power plant applications? Coal mining = take away the tops of mountains and dig huge pits, wipe all life off the face of online ordering cialis the land. Same for uranium mining. Same for oil sands. The environmental impact by solar plans is made up 1000 fold by mining less fossil and nuclear fuels.
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assessment is good
written by Tim, June 28, 2008
While it does stink of political gamesmanship that solar would receive such scrutiny while petroleum, coal, shale, and nuclear explorations are given full throttle, it remains extremely important to do environmental impact assessments before ANY major energy structure is built. People tend to dismiss deserts as less valuable than, say ANWR, but desert are in fact among the generic cialis 10 mg without prescription most fragile of ecosystems.

Nonetheless, solar power is making remarkable developments, and it's a shame that it's being delayed somewhat. Newer Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems have made solar power increasingly efficient and affordable. See a good article on the developments. Let's get this solar ball rolling!
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written by Evander Farson, June 28, 2008
I have no problem with the content of your article, but could you at least make an attempt to proofread before you post? You left out the words "of" and "on" in the first paragraph alone. I mean, come on. Does anyone have standards anymore?
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written by Warren, June 28, 2008
I don't know, but I just find this moratorium rather oddly timed just after Bush calls for a return to offshore drilling. Are they doing any enviromental assessments concerning that? That was a rethorical question,assured that we all know the answer already.
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written by Ken Roberts, June 28, 2008
Ridiculous by any standard.
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what!
written by andre, June 28, 2008
that reflects the brains of all the US citizens but the Californians.
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Not really a big deal when you think abo
written by Brad, June 28, 2008
Firstly, you have to understand that even if all the permits were signed and levitra vs viagra the political climate allowed for it, we couldn't build solar farms fast enough based on the current manufacturing capacity in the US, or even abroad to full-fill current projects, let alone to cover a vast tract of land like this.

Also, the opportunities for solar farms in the US and abroad is not limited to building solar farms on land, barren or crop-producing.

Some of the largest solar farm projects in the world are being place on-top of the roofs of the best place best price levitra existing structures; such as warehouses and large commercial building roof tops, etc.

I fully support any activity that prevents further, irresponsible, ecological damage.
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written by morepowerr, June 28, 2008
Ever one should talk to there states and make any company like Lowes,Walmart & others. Put solar farms over there parking lots.

That way we get the power we need. And I don't have to bake will I sit in the car.
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It's about the buy viagra oil
written by rob, June 28, 2008
Betting dollars to donuts BLM got a discreet call from "an undisclosed location" to slow up permits in a politically defendable way. State's rights anyone? If developers can do what they did to Vegas in the last ten years, there ought be only green lights for a 100 square miles of solar panels. BLM, lead or get the hell out of the way.
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Load of phooy
written by pylorns, June 28, 2008
I couldn't believe this yesterday when I heard it on the radio. I was so damn pissed off a the administration bowing to pressure of other "environmental activists" seriously.. they want us back in the dark ages, no electricity, no carbon emissions, just cow flatulence.
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Oil plant moratorium
written by sgk, June 28, 2008
Americans tend to have a "just do it" attitude, compared to us brits. Finding this US moratorium on environment-saving plans quite suprising. Thankful that here in the UK our offshore wind farms are pressing on without this nonsense.
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cow flatulence
written by Clinch, June 28, 2008
no electricity, no carbon emissions, just cow flatulence.

Nope, not even cow flatulence anymore.
http://envirovore.com/content/view/176/1/
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Wildlife
written by lae, June 28, 2008
Maybe ground squirrels if we do (not likely); certainly Human Beings if we don't.
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Tragic and sad news, but telling as a ne
written by ThermalFan, June 28, 2008
When I first saw this story yesterday at Reddit I literally felt sick. I had to stop and take a deep breath and just walk away from the computer for a few hours to avoid have a stroke over it. This is such a callous and arrogant power play it's absurd to the point of being funny when you finally get over just how horrible it is
But aside from the item itself, what I found interesting was how it played out in the blogosphere.
First, by reading comments on the story it highlighted just how ignorant a huge part of the on-line population is about solar thermal. In this very thread here at EcoGeek we can see a half dozen posts that mistake this as being a story about photovoltaic technology. Once can only assume that these individuals are wholly ignorant of solar thermal technology. Since this news item is exactly and www.ncitech.co.uk specifically about the solar thermal industry, it's intriguing to consider how few people really even know what that means. It's expecially interesting when one considers that what inspired this reaction is the size of uk levitra that industry. The current permits for solar thermal in question are approaching ten percent of the entire US electrical supply. This is the reason for the moratorium, it's growing way too fast and this is why it is not photovoltaic. Photovoltaic will not scale to such enormous power levels in the next few years while solar thermal is proposed to do precisely that. Hence, the reaction from the administration famous for its cozy relationship to the conventional power industries.
Secondly, and most importantly, what grabs me about this story --once I had time to reflect in a calmer moment-- is that it shows you that solar thermal is finally being seen as a threat. They wouldn't fight back if they thought it was going to fail. That makes this news, in a somewhat ironic way, awesome.
This is fighting dirty. A party, not just any party but the Republican Party of the United States of America which prides itself on its business friendly anti-regulatory credentials is suddenly and frantically sheltering behind its own purportedly most despised government regulatory structures. What in the world would cause such a bizarre move. It's obvious, they're running out of options so they have to lose face and try even the most distasteful of options.
This is beautiful.
Besides which, they can call it a thousand year moratorium, but the Bureau of Land Management will be under new management in six months.
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Ain't it wonderful?
written by Grobbo, June 28, 2008
Ah, lobbyists, aren't they a wonderful invention. Amazing how powerful money can be.
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written by Lowell, June 28, 2008
Nothing new under the sun
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written by el jefe, June 29, 2008
There is no such thing as sensible use of nuclear power. Period. Ever. If you think so, why don't you go move next to one, or one of the waste storage facilities.

Solar thermal is fine, but why aren't we putting PV panels over every parking lot in the sunbelt? We wouldn't use up any extra land, could generate huge amounts of power, would keep cars cooler, and would allow most cities to generate a significant amount of cialis from mexico their own power. Someone point out a downside.
0
"Big oil" is slowing alternatives withou
written by Bob Green, June 29, 2008
"Big oil" has frustrated alternatives for years and as they are "creaming it" right now is it any wonder these alternatives are being stalled?

Exxon Valdez has finally been settled after years and the Company merely paid a token fine in comparison to its income.

The oil companies are the culprits in so many areas - no doubt at all! They are holding the ordering viagra without prescription World to ransom!
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written by EV, June 29, 2008
There is no such thing as sensible use of nuclear power. Period. Ever. If you think so, why don't you go move next to one, or one of the waste storage facilities.

I will be in about a month. I don't see a problem with nuclear power and believe that we should have more of it. If we actually recycled the used material, we'd have a few centuries of fuel on hand and a few orders of magnitude less 'waste'.
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written by Sick of Trolls, June 29, 2008
Apparently the BLM only has authority on government owned land (this according to cnn)and at present there are no solar farms of any kind on gov. land, but they must be swamped with applications that include building on gov. land? (or is that too big of an assumption)This story maybe not that big of a deal at present- hopefully it doesnt impact further implementation of buy cialis online without prescription any type of solar farms.
I would think the lack of continued subsidies on solar panel installations is a bigger concern/story at the moment ( iirc the subsidies are ending soon- and havent been extended yet)
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Suprise, suprise
written by doughnut, June 29, 2008
At the most these solarthermal plants will cool down the atmosphere. Where I live snakes are almost extinct due to roads and we recommend cialis sales uk land is seriously damaged by overpopulation of mice. A consistent number of birds are already extinct and many in danger due to elimination of breeding habitat by farming. Grow biofuels instead!
Todays standards are high and I'm fully confident that solarthermal plants are far ahead in every sense.
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written by Mr Dupont, June 29, 2008
You have to admit, this administration is loyal to their purse strings. Lame duck my gASS.
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written by Pale, June 30, 2008
Let me make sure I understand your complaint correctly. For years, solar power is touted as being a big part of our independence from fossil fuels. It's been a niche-market for most of that time due largely to economic issues, primarily that it isn't very cost effective.

Turn the use cialis clock ahead a few years. Great strides in technology have brought costs down, sent efficiencies up, and made the use of solar power a viable, profitable direction.

You're telling me that you're surprised the government would put a halt to something profitable? Remember, anything having to do with business is considered evil by those in land management. Anti-capitalists took up residence with environmentalists a while back and have been there ever since.

It doesn't matter how good an idea is. It doesn't matter how much good it will to for the environment. All that matters is that it become state-controlled and not-for-profit. This 2-year period is just the beginning.
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This same BLM approves new coal plants
written by Uglly American, June 30, 2008
This same BLM cares so much about the environment that they approve clear cutting, strip mining, storing radioactive tailings in open piles and are pushing coal & nuke projects as hard as they can.

As far as I can tell, they are crooked and have been for years.
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BLM reluctant to approve vast industrial
written by Lloyd Kilcrease, July 01, 2008
Sounds a little better now doesn't it? Take a look at the solar facility in the photograph. Not a bush or a blade of wow)) buy prescription viagrabuy viagra in the uk grass to be seen. The proponents of these industrial complexes contend that they would be built on desert "wastelands" but in reality they would site them in pristine desert ecosystems. Damn right there should be further study!
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SOLARENVIRONMENTS
written by Egon, July 03, 2008
Damnd these studies and www.aagon.de more studies. When are we going to learn the practical aspects of solar photovoltaic systems that can be built on raised frames to give plenty of agrerian type of space for additional produce production. With the shade from such structures all sorts of good can be created in the desert. Further more, these type of projects would only take tiny parts of Southwest deserts but in return provide plenty of beneficial results. Wake up ecologiests, try to help solving practical problems instead of only pointing out all the negatives. Think of all the negatives that $ 145/ barrel of http://www.transitofvenus.org/levitra-india-pharmacy oil produces?
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written by Ken Kelly, July 04, 2008
Truth is that it is the government money they are after not the helping of others. Take away the tax fiveaways and other help directly from the government and nearly all these people will dissappear instantly. The solar panels are not viable as a large scale source. These panels will cause more dammage than they will ever help anyone. Reflected sunlight to create heat will be of some use but not nearly enough. Nuclear is what should be used at this time until a better source is found. There is anew city born every day and growing fast. It is not possible to keep up with the demand with any oher source than nuclear for the next twenty years.
I do not understand why so many that claim to be ecperts can't see beyond the end of their noses. Or should I say past the indian cialis generic dollar signs in their eyes. Well schooled people most often are the easiest to con. Well educated people are not and there are few of them in the world.
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Short of letting the "Cat out of the Bag
written by Walter Prout, July 04, 2008
As important as Solar Energy and our Eco system is, is there any Thing,Person or Organization from making a buck with this?
It's a fact that the companies who make the necessary components for Solar will put the Oil companies in the hurt locker here, is there any way that someone can tap into our Sun and create a on/off switch and bayer levitra samples profit from it ?

I can only imagine that someone somewhere will try something like this and we'll be back to square one. Maybe, our governments who are paid by the dollars from the Oil companies are the one's who have this switch?

Am all for Solar Energy but is it possible for such a thing to happen?
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Moving Foreward
written by Sustainable Home Design, August 05, 2008
Nuclear power may have advanced over the past two decades, but surely resorting back to it negates the process of moving forward in developing clean renewable energy. It's a complicated area with politics and big money in the mix and though nuclear produces cleaner energy than coal, the risk, waste, and direction make this option very unappealing to many. Promoting clean, safe, renewable energy that is not controlled by single entities is key, though it will be challenged time and again in order to keep consumers dependant and in the grip of jaygalbraith.com a few.

One more thing to note. If one looks into the history of BLM interactions with profitable coal, oil, mining and even real estate sales, it seems.......Interesting, that they take such an uncharicteristic leval of concern with this movement.

Charles Precht
Sustainable Design
www.sustainablehomeplans.com

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