From The San Francisco Chronicle:
It's an environmental catch-22. California needs to meet its aggressive goals for renewable-energy production, but solar and wind farms require lots of space. The farms' land gobbling can conflict with one of Californians' most cherished values: the preservation of pristine wilderness and animal habitat. As the state gets serious about increasing its renewable-energy portfolio, there's going to be tension.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is learning that the hard way. As the author of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act (which established the wildly popular Joshua Tree National Park), she was the natural author for the California Desert Protection Act of 2010. The bill would place nearly 1 million acres of the Mojave Desert off limits for development.
It would also fund a new renewable-energy permitting office and seek to expedite permitting for renewable-energy projects on lands deemed more suitable for development, but those changes seem like small potatoes when compared to the vast amount of land that will suddenly be off limits. The Bureau of Land Management is currently evaluating about 120 solar and wind projects in the region, and a handful of those would have to be tossed out under Feinstein's bill. The developers are crying foul.
VH: The "green" utopia is going to be a lot more elusive and expensive than what environmentalist's have sold to the gullible California public. The state of California is already one of the most expensive places to live and to do business. What do you think is going to happen when more land is set aside from being developed and there are less and less corridors to carry power from one point to the next? Cha-ching.