Kennedy v. Feinstein - Showndown in the Mojave‏


Rescue 3
It's a long read but well worth it!

From Greenwire September 8, 2009

RENEWABLE ENERGY: RFK Jr., enviros clash over Mojave solar proposal (09/08/2009)

Colin Sullivan, E&E reporterSAN FRANCISCO -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is no stranger to hardball politics.

The environmental attorney has confronted polluters of the Hudson River, been arrested in Puerto Rico for trying to block U.S. Navy training operations and scrapped with oil companies looking to drill in remote parts of Alaska.

Along the way, he has worked for environmental groups large and small, lending his famous name to a burgeoning movement fighting to bring attention to macro-issues like climate change while protecting local wildlife habitat. In 1999, he was named a Time magazine "Hero of the Planet" for his work with the advocacy group Riverkeeper.

But in California's emerging battle over renewable energy development, Kennedy has gained new enemies: fellow environmentalists.

Kennedy, the son and namesake of the late Attorney General and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.), is at the center of a nasty dispute among environmental groups, energy developers and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) over the future of federal lands in the sun-soaked Mojave Desert.

The Mojave's 22,000 square miles straddle California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Given its elevation, heat, aridity and proximity to population centers on the California coast, the region is viewed by many as the ideal venue in North America for building a new generation of large solar-thermal power plants, especially in a state where utilities are required to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010 and likely 33 percent by 2020.

Among the leaders in a group of aggressive solar prospectors is an Oakland-based company called BrightSource Energy Inc., which has been making a splash lately for its plans to build 2.6 gigawatts of power for California's investor-owned utilities, much of it to be located -- on paper, at least -- in the Mojave Desert.

But some California-based activists are worried that solar developers like BrightSource are getting a free pass in a headlong rush to build clean energy and capitalize on federal stimulus dollars now available for such projects. These activists have enlisted Feinstein to push for the declaration of a national monument in the desert and intend to unveil legislation with the senator in September that would apparently protect 1 million acres in the eastern Mojave to limit development.

Enter Kennedy, who calls the national monument, as it is likely to be drawn, a bad idea. To Kennedy, the instinct to protect local ecosystems has collided with the goals of a progressive national energy policy.

"I respect the belief that it's all local," Kennedy said in an interview. "But they're putting the democratic process and sound scientific judgement on hold to jeopardize the energy future of our country."

But here's the rub: Kennedy has a stake in BrightSource through VantagePoint Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley that was instrumental in raising $160 million in financing for the solar startup. Other investors include Chevron Corp., and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

That Kennedy is a senior adviser at VantagePoint, and an open promoter of BrightSource in public speeches, is an irony not lost on David Myers, an activist who charges Kennedy with shilling for a company intent on using his political clout. To Myers, the lure of profit if BrightSource makes it big is why Kennedy, a cousin of California's first lady, Maria Shriver, wants to stop the national monument before it ever gets off the ground.

"I'm getting pretty tired of BrightSource using their Kennedy connection," said Myers, executive director of the Wildlands Conservancy. "BrightSource [is pursuing] the worst projects in the worst locations, but they have the best PR firm, because Robert Kennedy is involved."

Feinstein's monument

Enter Feinstein, a longtime advocate of desert conservation and lead appropriator for the Interior Department in Congress.

Her office is working on a bill to be released this month that some sources said will cut off 1 million public acres in the desert -- up from a previous estimate of 600,000 acres -- to protect a threatened species of desert tortoise and preserve its habitat.

Feinstein, according to several sources who spoke anonymously, is livid about the pace of development on public lands and has bluntly told the solar developers not to challenge her on the national monument designation. Calls to several solar companies seeking comment seemed to bear this out. None of them would take a position on the measure.

Myers has been instrumental in developing the boundaries of the monument, sparking rumors that he is cozy with Feinstein and is dictating the terms of the legislation. The boundaries would stretch from Joshua Tree National Park to Mojave National Preserve, including nearly 100,000 acres of National Park Service lands and 210,000 acres spread across 20 wilderness areas controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.

That area includes lands previously owned by Catellus Development Corp., a real estate subsidiary of the former Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroad. Myers insisted that the purchase was made years ago in the name of conservation, a promise that he says Feinstein takes seriously.

And though he would not release details of the bill, Myers said none of the land would come from the federal energy zones marked by the Interior Department for development. Nor does he believe solar companies will have trouble finding land to build on elsewhere in the region.

"The land in the monument is minuscule," Myers said. "There are so many other places where solar is being proposed throughout the state."

But Kennedy disagrees. BrightSource and 19 other companies have petitioned BLM and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to build in an area called Broadwell that would be shut off under the Feinstein bill. Those applications represent about 10,000 megawatts of power, or 30 large-scale solar power plants; and though much of that would never get built, Kennedy says closing down Broadwell is a significant blow to the companies that have invested there under the guidance of federal land managers.

"This area is probably one of the best solar areas in the world," Kennedy said. "All that the solar industry has said is, 'Look, let's respect the robust process in place,' a process that is among the most transparent in the world through the CEC and BLM."

That process is still proceeding. BLM has received 66 applications for solar, totaling 577,000 acres, most of which would be located in the desert, an agency spokesman said. BLM is also processing 93 wind applications, representing 815,000 acres.

Yet the monument bill may have already produced a chilling effect. John White, a renewable-energy policy expert at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, says the proposal has cast a "shadow" over these projects just as they are vying for financing and federal stimulus dollars only available until 2010. To White, setting aside 1 million acres in the eastern Mojave would mean "less land for solar than for off-road vehicles ... in the very best land that has the highest solar radiation."

"I'm astonished that nobody's said that," said White, who refused to comment further on the political wrangling.

Myers countered that most of those 19 companies have agreed, in private discussions with Feinstein, to build elsewhere. Florida Power & Light Co., Cogentrix Energy LLC and Stirling Energy Systems Inc., among others, have informed Feinstein that they filed "shotgun applications" in the Broadwell area and are more than willing to drop those and find other areas, he said.

"They're fine going outside the monument," Myers said. "BrightSource is the laughingstock of the industry right now."

Kennedy vs. Myers

For his part, Kennedy was unfazed by Myers' allegations or his harsh take on BrightSource, calling the political heat familiar territory, given his family's unique place in U.S. history. In the same breath, he urged Feinstein to take a step back before proceeding with the monument.

"I don't think it does anybody any good to start making personal attacks," Kennedy said. "Let's argue this on the merits. I think if we argue this on the merits, I think BrightSource and 19 other companies are going to win the debate."

Kennedy added that he has a "limited stake" in VantagePoint and denied asking for special treatment through Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) or anyone else in the state government.

"I don't care enough about BrightSource to compromise my integrity or the national interest," Kennedy said. "I've never talked to anyone about choosing BrightSource over anybody else. I've never asked for any favors from any politician or any regulator or any human being, ever."

In the next breath, Kennedy went negative himself and questioned Myers' relationship with a competitor to BrightSource, Pasadena-based eSolar Inc. Like BrightSource, eSolar is a solar-thermal outfit whose business model is built around reflecting radiation from mirrors into a large tower to convert steam into electricity. Unlike BrightSource, eSolar has no stake or planned projects in the Broadwell region.

Myers, Kennedy pointed out, has his own overlap issues with Silicon Valley money through eSolar. A major donor to the Wildlands Conservancy is the venture capitalist David Gelbaum, who has poured his own funds into eSolar and reportedly owns a fat stake in the company. eSolar would stand to benefit from the national monument, several sources said, because it is not involved in the Broadwell area.

Adding to the fire is Myers himself, who recently appeared at an eSolar press event in person to praise the company for siting projects on industrial lands near power lines in Lancaster, Calif. Yet Myers denies an inappropriate relationship and blamed Kennedy and BrightSource for stoking the rumors.

Gelbaum, Myers said, donated $45 million seven years ago to help acquire the Catellus lands. Myers said the donation and pledge to keep the lands off-limits took place well before BrightSource came into being.

Not stopping there, Myers slammed Kennedy for opposing a wind project off the coast of Nantucket, Mass., and questioned his recent environmental credentials. He said Kennedy is hiding behind the local versus national environmental debate when his real motivation is turning a profit through VantagePoint.

"Bobby Kennedy told us they did not want to see windmills in Cape Cod, that they had to put it all in the California desert," Myers said. "The real story here is, Bobby Kennedy is on the side of major industrial development, and he's against distributed generation."

Kennedy responded in kind. "He is very focused on a narrow piece of land, which I respect," he said of Myers. "All I've ever asked for is a rational process that is democratic, that is transparent, that is robust. That process is in place."

View from the bleachers

Spectators on the sidelines were hesitant to comment on the flare-up between Kennedy and Myers or the shape of the monument designation. Most said they could not take a position on the forthcoming Feinstein bill until it is publicly available, which a spokeswoman said has not been finalized.

Officials at BrightSource, who contacted Kennedy for an interview after receiving a call for this article, said the focus had been placed unfairly on their company when the future of the entire solar industry is at stake.

"The debate over renewable development and desert protection is not adversarial," said Keely Wachs, a spokesman at BrightSource. "We all have the same end goal of protecting the environment."

White, whose organization is meant to bridge industry and environmental groups, said "a little bit of land rush" followed the stimulus frenzy and perhaps led to tense feelings on both sides. He urged the players to learn from the experience, even as he cautioned that the political process has yet to play out.

"It's one thing to introduce a bill and another thing to get it through both houses," White said. "I think that this really is the beginning of a long conversation about where and how to put solar in the desert."

Elden Hughes, a former chairman of the Sierra Club's California-Nevada Desert Committee, blamed BLM for promoting lands bought from Catellus years ago and said officials there should have respected a promise that those lands be conserved. He said BLM has only recently changed its tune.

Calling BLM officials "two-faced SOBs," Hughes said, "For some months, they were telling us they were protecting the land, while at the same time they were taking developers out there."

BLM spokesman John Dearing would only say that the agency's job is to process applications. BLM has no right to block any entity from seeking a right of way on the Catellus lands, he said, adding that the agency will pursue "high-level reviews" for any proposed impacts to lands meant for conservation.

"They might want to steer away from that area," Dearing said of the developers. "But they're not prohibited from making an application."




Well-Known Member
Now this is the very same Kennedy that thinks its ok for him to drive his SUV`s the he has said nobody should drive. (Old Hannity interview) Now, the Beck interviews.....

As you can see, Beck is a little peaved with Jr,s accusations. Jr.s has a major beef with Beck.
Mr Kennedy seems to be a bit nervous and really doesnt articulate himself very well. At least not for an attorney. IMO
[ame=""]YouTube - Glenn Beck, RFK Jr, Global Warming Part 1 (7/18/07)[/ame]
[ame=""]YouTube - Glenn Beck, RFK Jr, Global Warming Part 2 (7/18/07)[/ame]


Rescue 3
Plot gets even thicker when one remembers that the lobby firm that represents Bright Source Solar is also the lobbying firm for such OHV groups as ORBA, Cal4 wd and others.
Strange bedfellows on all sides in this mess


Well-Known Member
Plot gets even thicker when one remembers that the lobby firm that represents Bright Source Solar is also the lobbying firm for such OHV groups as ORBA, Cal4 wd and others.
Strange bedfellows on all sides in this mess
Sure does.....Get them fighting amongst themselves. Im not sure if this is a good thing or not. Spotlight on our deserts......This means we really gotta watch our p`s and q`s. You may see more people out there than wouldnt normally be there.


Rescue 3
Renewable energy plan creates rift

By Andrea Stone, USA TODAY

AMBOY, Calif. - The morning heat hits triple digits as a whiptail
darts below a creosote bush near Route 66. Gazing across the desert
power company executives, environmentalists and federal land managers
beneath a cloudless sky and argue over the landscape.
PG&E project manager Alice Harron says she is "comfortable" with the
power plant her utility wants to build on government land here along 4
of the Mother Road that connected Chicago and Los Angeles long before
interstate system.
David Myers of the Wildlands Conservancy is not. Renewable energy
such as this one - which could power 224,000 homes - sound good in
he says, but if they tear up pristine vistas, they're not "green."
President Obama wants a "clean-energy economy" that relies on
sources such as solar and wind power instead of coal and oil. He wants
put these new utilities on federally owned lands like this stretch of
Mojave Desert, one of the sunniest places on Earth.
The administration wants to lead the way by taking advantage of its
holdings, which account for 20% of all land in the USA, mostly in the
That idea is creating a rift among environmentalists, who favor
energy but are at odds over where to produce it. Some are willing to
compromise with utility companies to build large power plants on
federal lands to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
Purists are dead set against disturbing pristine landscapes.
Obama's goal is to meet 25% of the nation's energy needs from
resources by 2025. Today, the figure is 11.1%, according to the
of Energy.
One purist is Myers, who worries that the government will
industrialize the
desert with acres of solar mirrors, trampling treasured landscapes.
such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) counter that
centralized projects are needed to speed the shift to non-polluting
"It's hard, because many of us have fought to protect the very lands"
could be affected, says Johanna Wald of the NRDC.
Starting 'a new beginning'
In a wood-paneled Washington conference room, under the words "America
Beautiful," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he runs "the real
of energy."
After decades of allowing private companies to lease public lands for
and oil, "we have started a new beginning" to make room for solar
and wind turbines, he says. As with the older leases, operators would
pay to
use the land.
Salazar has designated 24 tracts in six Western states as possible
project sites. There is none on federal lands now.
The Interior Department will open offices to eliminate a five-year
of applications. There are 158 pending solar projects on 1.8 million
of public land. If all went through, they could power 29 million
Not all will be approved, Salazar says, because of environmental and
concerns. Still, the White House plans to streamline approval for at
10 solar plants it hopes will create 50,000 jobs by 2011.
Nearly half the solar proposals are in the Mojave Desert, home to the
threatened desert tortoise, Indian petroglyphs and an intact stretch
Route 66, the historic highway dotted with vintage diners and derelict
Not far from the iconic Roy's Motel and Diner, PG&E consultant Scott
tells environmentalists that surveys reveal no rare plants or
species on a planned solar site. A nearby rail line and access road
proof, he says, the land is hardly pristine.
Myers of the Wildlands Conservancy says an abandoned farm farther from
66 would be a better choice. PG&E's Harron says it is privately owned
would be difficult to acquire.
The great advantage of government land, she says, is how much of it
there is
and the relative ease and cost-effectiveness of building projects on
Too easy, says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. In a letter to Salazar
month, she said she was "deeply concerned" about a "bias under which
developers believe they are more likely to receive a permit to build
projects on pristine public lands than on previously disturbed
Myers fears taxpayers are subsidizing inappropriately large-scale
He'd prefer a focus on rooftop solar panels and other small-scale
in urban areas that would reduce the clout of big energy companies.
Wald, the NRDC lawyer, says the government is taking a balanced
She spent 35 years battling the oil and gas industry and now is
working with
them to find appropriate sites for wind and solar plants. She agrees
energy self-sufficiency is important but says Myers' approach would
take too
long. "Even if (some environmentalists) don't like it," she says,
large-scale projects "are going to happen."
Monumental roadblock?
Feinstein wants to establish a national monument that would bar
development on hundreds of thousands of acres of desert between the
National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park. The area includes
railroad land the Wild-lands Conservancy donated to the government a
If Congress establishes the monument, PG&E and 22 other companies
would have
to build someplace else.
Across the border in Nevada, Feinstein's Democratic colleague Harry
Reid is
taking a different approach. The Senate majority leader supports a
wind turbine farm on federal land near Searchlight, his hometown.
That has some of his neighbors livid. Many say they fled to the quiet
town to get away from California's massive, densely packed wind farms.
They fear the same in Searchlight, where the tallest structure is the
150-foot flagpole at Terrible's Casino.
Duke Energy wants to put up 95 wind turbines with blades that reach
415 feet
off the ground. Though few in number compared with older, less
wind farms - some with thousands of turbines - that's still too many
some people.
"It's going to ruin our way of life," says Verlie Doing, 85, a friend
Reid's late mother. Doing owns the Nugget Casino.
Twelve miles south in the Nevada town of Cal-Nev-Ari, retired energy
electrician Robert Carty supports the turbines. He sees "the global
of climate change and calls opponents "CAVE people - citizens against
virtually everything."
Across the Mojave in Lucerne Valley, Calif., where neighbors are
over a proposed solar plant on 516 acres, county employee Andrew
"Folks in the East," he says, "don't necessarily recognize how complex
beautiful and diverse the desert is."


Rescue 3
Monument plan creates rift

Monument plan creates rift

[SIZE=+1]MOJAVE DESERT: The Schwarzenegger administration fears the preserve may interfere with energy projects.

&nbspListen to Story&nbsp Download story podcast

[SIZE=-1]10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

A plan to create a national monument across a large corner of the Mojave Desert threatens to "halt all current planned renewable energy projects" there, the Schwarzenegger administration said in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
The senator has not yet introduced the legislation, but advocates of a bill to create the monument have said it could cover much of the public land in southeast San Bernardino County, between Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve.
One supporter said Tuesday that the senator now is working on a more modest plan than initially discussed.
Story continues below​

The Aug. 28 letter, signed by state Natural Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and released Tuesday, said Feinstein's California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act "must not" interfere with renewable energy projects. Schwarzenegger has made renewable energy a priority, and the state has aggressive standards requiring utilities to rely increasingly on solar, wind and other alternative sources.
Feinstein and a spokesman for Chrisman's office both said Tuesday that the legislation is still being shaped. And both said they want to conserve pristine lands while allowing development of solar and other renewable energy.
"We have mutual goals," Chrisman spokesman Sandy Cooney said in a telephone interview.
Feinstein released a prepared statement Tuesday.
"The vast majority of proposed large wind and solar projects on both public and private lands fall outside the boundaries under consideration for the monument," she said.
Earlier this year, preservationists said they sought Feinstein's support to create a 2.4 million-acre preserve to protect public land from military use and energy development. The area would be called the "Mother Road National Monument" because it would include 70 miles of historic Route 66.
Included in the monument would be about 600,000 acres of former railroad land purchased with $40 million in donations raised by The Wildlands Conservancy, based in Oak Glen, along with $18 million appropriated by Congress. Although the land was turned over to the federal government for conservation, about 15 energy projects have been proposed on some of the acreage, according to a Wildlands Conservancy official.
Protecting that land was part of the impetus for Feinstein's move to create a monument.
David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy, said Tuesday that when he and his group donated the land, the Clinton administration assured them that the property would be conserved. The Bush administration later allowed energy applications targeting the acreage.
Myers said representatives of several energy companies have told him they are willing to build their projects outside the monument area. But not all are willing, he said.
One company, BrightSource Energy, wants to develop a solar project that involves some of the donated land, near Broadwell Dry Lake, east of Barstow.
Keely Wachs, a spokesman for BrightSource, said the company plans to build there and has been working with Feinstein's office on legislation that would balance conservation needs and energy development.
Elden Hughes, a member of the Sierra Club California/Nevada Desert Committee and a Joshua Tree resident, said Feinstein is crafting legislation for a smaller monument than envisioned earlier by conservationists.
He said he hopes the Schwarzenegger administration doesn't stop Feinstein's effort, because a monument designation would protect corridors for wildlife to move between Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve. Such swaths of undisturbed land will be especially important as global warming changes habitat, he said.
"Severing the desert would be a huge mistake," Hughes said. "We need the wildlife and plant corridors to remain open."
Chrisman's letter said Feinstein intended to introduce the monument legislation this month along with another bill support renewable energy projects.
Staff writer Jim Miller contributed to this report.
Reach David Danelski at 951-368-9471 or


Rescue 3
From todays LA Times:

Controversial plan for solar thermal power facility in Mojave Desert dropped
September 17, 2009 | 1:46 pm
BrightSource Energy Inc. today said it has scrapped a controversial plan to build a major solar thermal power facility in eastern Mojave Desert wilderness that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) wants to transform into a national monument.
The announcement ended a long-running dispute between backers of renewable energy and environmentalists strongly opposed to the idea of creating an industrial zone within 600,000 acres of former railroad lands that had been donated to the Department of Interior for conservation.
The acrimony even triggered a nasty public squabble between Robert Kennedy Jr., a senior advisor at VantagePoint Venture Partners, which raised $160 million for BrightSource, and David Myers, executive director of the Wildlands Conservancy, which raised $40 million to buy the railroad lands and protect them from development.
Of particular concern was BrightSource’s application to develop a solar power plant on a portion of the donated lands known as Broadwell Dry Lake, which lies within Sleeping Beauty Valley. The scenic, near pristine region is home to Big Horn Mountain Sheep and a variety of plants and reptiles found nowhere else.
Today, BrightSource spokesman Keely Wachs said, “We have ceased all activity at the Broadwell site ... We will not build inside of a national monument.” “Our core mission is to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions,” he added. “We share Sen. Feinstein’s values on this matter.”
News of the company’s announcement came as a welcomed surprise to environmentalists. “BrightSource should be saluted for their corporate responsibility,” Myers said. “A major conflict between renewable energy and environmentalists has just evaporated.”
Elden Hughes, former chairman of the Sierra Club’s California-Nevada Desert Committee, called the company’s announcement “fantastic news.” “Broadwell is one of the most beautiful vistas in the desert,” he said. “I’ve seen it covered with yellow flowers to the horizon in all directions.”
The BrightSource application was one of 19 under review by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Wachs said the company had ceased activity at the Broadwell site “a few months ago.”
Around the same time, the company began seeking alternative sites for that project “in and outside of the state,” he said.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like she is pressing forward with her plans for a National Monument and persuaded them to look elsewhere.
LAND GRAB PART ????? :mad:
That area is very remote. One of the very nice spots you can ride in peace.


Rescue 3
Sounds like she is pressing forward with her plans for a National Monument and persuaded them to look elsewhere.
LAND GRAB PART ????? :mad:
That area is very remote. One of the very nice spots you can ride in peace.

Now the fear is, where are they looking now? We need to pay really close attention. If we don;t lose Johnson Valley to the military we could lose it to solar and wind generators.


Well-Known Member
we could lose it to solar and wind generators.
One of the largest wind generating areas in the US now is in TX. Its off I10 near Iraan and past Fort Stockton. It was set to get bigger with Boone Pickens involvement. They pulled the plug on the project due to the lack of infrastructure to get the electricty from there to the customers. Or however that works. Your may see the same in the Mojave. The deal is, the land that will proposed will include MUCH more acres then you actually see, to get the electricity out of there.


Rescue 3
One of the largest wind generating areas in the US now is in TX. Its off I10 near Iraan and past Fort Stockton. It was set to get bigger with Boone Pickens involvement. They pulled the plug on the project due to the lack of infrastructure to get the electricty from there to the customers. Or however that works. Your may see the same in the Mojave. The deal is, the land that will proposed will include MUCH more acres then you actually see, to get the electricity out of there.

That is one of the main concerns now. If they generate all this electricity how in the heck are they going to deliver it to folks. Not only that, they want to "ship" the produced energy down into Los Angeles. So we lose our desert and the dipshiets in LA get the electricity. Something's just not right about this whole green movement.


Well-Known Member

Senator Dianne Feinstein has boldly supported creating a new national monument in the California desert that would connect Joshua Tree National Park with the Mojave National Preserve, protecting some of the most pristine, ecologically important, and beautiful desert in the world.

Much of the proposed monument consists of lands donated to the federal government by The Wildlands Conservancy based on an understanding that the lands would be permanently protected. The new monument would uphold the government's original promise to protect these lands and affirm the principle that lands donated for conservation must truly be conserved.

Unfortunately, the Interior Department is currently considering allowing industrial-scale energy development on many of these lands. Some energy companies and their investors are opposing the proposed monument, arguing that it will interfere with meeting our renewable-energy goals. While a rapid transition to renewable energy is essential to address global warming, we must not destroy pristine public lands and endangered species habitat in the stampede. Hundreds of thousands of acres of already-degraded lands are available outside the proposed monument that are better suited for energy development.

In a positive move in the much-contested debate about solar energy projects in the proposed monument, BrightSource Energy, Inc. -- one of the companies involved -- just yesterday canceled its plans to develop a 5,000 acre solar thermal facility in a remote wildland area of the Mojave Desert. The Center for Biological Diversity applauds this wise decision and calls on other companies contemplating similar projects in the proposed monument to cancel them immediately. Passage of Senator Feinstein's proposed monument bill will ensure that threats to our lands from the remaining energy projects are kept at bay.

Please take a moment now to let Senator Feinstein know that you strongly support her proposed monument.

Click here to find out more and take action.

If you have trouble following the link, go to


Sample letter:

Subject: Thank You for Protecting the Desert

Dear Senator Feinstein:

I am writing to thank you for considering introducing legislation that would create a new national monument in the California desert that would link Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. A new monument would protect important wildlife habitat and beautiful scenery as well as affirm the principle that lands donated for conservation purposes should actually be protected. I believe that greatly enhancing renewable-energy generation and protecting our public lands are compatible goals, but only if large-scale energy projects are directed away from sensitive lands such as those in the proposed monument. Please move forward with a monument bill that protects this important part of California's natural heritage. Thank you.


Please take action immediately.

Donate now to support our work.

Mojave desert photo by Joseph Dougherty, BLM.

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Guess who entered the fray...TJ:p