Solar takes out the old Mint track forever

snoreracer

Well-Known Member
I have been asked on how to comment on this so I will hit a few bullet points but please use your own words , if it looks like a form letter it does not do much.

This solar project will do harm to the recovery of the desert tortoise with the destruction of tortoise habitat . This project would be better suited in Apex where there are powerlines to connect to and the area has solar now. This solar plant will add a heat island in the area that will damage sensitive plants that are already under pressure from warming trends. The area where this plant is proposed near the Valley of Fire state park is sacred land for the Paiute Indian tribe , this project would do harm to some sites . The proposed solar site has the arrowhead trail and the Santa Fe trail that has many historic camp sites that would be covered forever with solar panels , Both the Santa Fe and arrowhead trails are listed as historic trails and can not be disturbed. Moving the desert tortoise to a new site would impact the population due to them trying to get back home and predators taking advantage of the extra movement. For the recover of the desert tortoise it would be best to not use this area.
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
While the panel farm footprint is fairly small the overall site will be much larger. The preliminary report also states a severe impact to recreational uses. There is also recognition that the availability of OHV areas in Southern Nevada are disappearing at a rapid rate. The current administration has shown they'd rather have Interior (BLM's boss) exploit public resources for commercial gain. As been the case over the last few years public good will fall to commercial profits. As long as the economy in Clark County doesn't take over the next 5-10 years we'll lose from Apex down to state line. At this point courting Nye County or some of the other less populated counties is likely the best option. It sucks particularly for us recreational only guys that there isn't any traction for an OHV park in Clark County. In the next decade the 15 corridor is going to be a version of a satellite So Cal type of city rather than rural desert.

Part 1 of preliminary report. (tl;dr = "yeah it's going to screw that area for at least the next 30 years but SOLAR!!")
https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front.../Gemini_508_DEIS_Volume_I_Chapters_1_to_4.pdf

All the docs.
Nevada - Las Vegas FO - DOI-BLM-NV-S010-2018-0051-EIS

Public Meeting July 23 at the Suncoast.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
The current administration? How long has this thing been in the pipe for? I can't even count on 2 hands the numbers of solar farms that were built in the desert under the last administration in its last 2 years in office. Whether on purpose or not, I bet that thing was on the books under Obama when Solyndra was cooking up.
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
The current administration? How long has this thing been in the pipe for? I can't even count on 2 hands the numbers of solar farms that were built in the desert under the last administration in its last 2 years in office. Whether on purpose or not, I bet that thing was on the books under Obama when Solyndra was cooking up.
It's not a red or blue thing it's the governance model for public lands at Interior these days. The only surprise is that they are allowing non fossil fuel or non timber or mining project like solar. The project has been trying to be pushed through for about 10 years as far as I can tell. Interior hasn't really been receptive until now. If it were just the panel and battery farm space it wouldn't be that bad but it's a much larger space.

Other actions from the current administration include revoking or curtailing national monument status such as Bear's Ears. Eliminating many environmental protections and opening up more federal land for resource extraction. Ending the moratorium on off shore drilling. Rescinding the protection that was instituted in the Gulf after Blue Water Horizon. Allowing coal sludge to be released untreated into streams local to the mine. I could go on and on. One could argue the governance/revenue case but it's a fact that public lands are being exploited for commercial purposes more often than previously in modern times at the expense of people that want to enjoy the land for non commercial purposes.

I know you can't "count on two hands" how many solar project have been built in the Mojave desert (all three states) because there haven't been enough built to fill ten fingers in two years let alone ten years. I'll save you the time. There have been six built in CA and NV since 2007. There were at least four others prior to that.

From the DOI themselves...Economic Impact of Public Lands Increases by $400 Million in First Year Under President Trump

According to the report, under President Donald J. Trump and Secretary Zinke's first year in office, the economic output of Interior's federal lands and resources increased by $400 million to $292 billion and the number of jobs supported increased by 230,000 to 1.8 million jobs. Gains are due to increased energy production and revenues, regulatory reform, changes to land uses and access, infrastructure projects, and other factors.
In FY 2017, Interior increased federal energy disbursements by nearly $1 billion. Interior-managed lands and waters produced 869 million barrels of crude oil, 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 347 million tons of coal. Oil, gas and coal produced from Interior lands and waters supported an estimated $134 billion in economic output and an estimated 676,000 jobs.
FY 2018 energy disbursements totaled $8.93 billion, which is an increase of nearly $2 billion since FY 2017 and an increase of $3 billion since President Obama’s last year in office. Production and revenues increased and the Department saw record-breaking sales. The Bureau of Land Management’s third-quarter oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico broke all previous records by grossing nearly $1 billion in bonus bids for 142 parcels. Thanks to Federal energy leases, the State of New Mexico has a nearly $2 billion budget surplus.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
And none of those have anything to do with solar. But just down the hill from me in Lucerne, there have been at least 2 new solar farms that were approved under Obama, at least 3 near Blythe. 2 more near Desert Hot Springs. That;s 7 just from driving by them. So there are plenty more. Bears Ears was doing just fine without the designation just as millions of other acres were doing just fine without changes to Wilderness or National Park designation. If you won't accept the reality that these designations are done as a weapon of war against the very recreation we are here to support and enjoy, Why are you against the Solar Farm?
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
If you won't accept the reality that these designations are done as a weapon of war against the very recreation we are here to support and enjoy, Why are you against the Solar Farm?
This is a land use issue that has nothing to do with your perception of how you think scary "Kenyan" man slighted you. This is to decide what the best use for that particular publicly owned tract may be right now. The exception area is too big for the size of the project. The location isn't appropriate for a use of that scope. The reason the developers want it is access to distribution to Las Vegas Valley without having to fund a longer high voltage distribution line to meet the existing lines. There are plenty of other more appropriate places in Clark County that will have less disruption for both recreational uses and the habitat.

BTW, Bear's Ears was opened specifically because of lobbying from a mining company that wants to extract uranium there. The current climate at Interior is not to provide the public with land to use but to provide private enterprise with low cost resources to exploit at the expense of those that own the land. They've been saying this themselves for almost three years.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
And prior to the current 3 years they were saying shut t all down to everything but foot prints and picture takers. The pendulum swung, just as it always does. I would rather have land that can be accessed than land that can never be accessed.
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
I would rather have land that can be accessed than land that can never be accessed.
I'm with you there but for this particular project all 7100 acres is being removed from public access for a term of 30 years after the plant is built under both of the proposals. A bit more than a third of the space is for the panel and battery array, the rest will be fenced and inaccessible to the public. There is no provision for public access to this land. I'd suggest you (and others) read the project draft as it doesn't sound like you are up on what's happening here.

The big casinos and Switch have left NV Energy and are buying cheaper power on the open market. That's where this new farm comes in. While they'll likely sell to NV Energy they'll also sell to large scale users on the open market. Just like down in Primm this one is going to be a heavy lift. I don't know that we'll make it but that doesn't mean to at least try and get voices heard. The "hey what about the off roaders" card didn't work in Primm and I don't think the "hey what about the turtles" card is going to be any more effective here. But I guess you play the hand you get dealt. I suppose best case we could use this as ammo for getting a large OHV area in Clark County but even that seems like a reach. It's probably past time to start being proactive about getting an OHV area rather than being reactive in trying to protect what areas are left from development.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
As I have said in the past, the deal is done, public comment period is simply to satisfy the legal need. Again, at least this land is not being turned into Wilderness, National Park, or ACEC with no plan to ever make a decisions on the designation but never opened to public access again. And it isn't just recreation. Mines that were used for rare earth materials up at Mountain Pass and south were closed under Obama and I believe they are trying to tie that land up to never be mined on again, like they did with the land down by Calnevari. Solar is a flash in the pan, and just like with Wind, will prove to be too expensive to do without taxpayer subsidies for eternity. Even Tesla is bailing on it now. After next year, it will be dead and several solar programs in the pipe are not going to be built with a huge taxpayer loss being given to the Democratic players who pushed them through. Roof top is where solar has to go to even come close to being a non-subsidized energy source for anything more than watching TV and charging your phone.
 

ACME

Well-Known Member
The problem I have with these projects is the BLM etc are allowing the use of land which is supposed to be available-used for/by the public, but is now being managed almost more like a profit center. Deals are being cut allowing the use of our public lands under the guise that this is in the best interest of the public. Ironically there are massive amounts of unused, developable private property for sale; which in a majority of the cases is in proximity of the public lands being basically auctioned off. But ironically a number of these developments be they solar, wind etc continue on public as opposed to private land. HMMMM, could it be $'s?

The Tortoise offered a convenient argument for those that wanted access by certain parties of for certain uses reduced. Ironically those original concerns are now being overlooked and areas that needed to be kept pristine to allow for minimal impact to a species are being overruled to allow commercial use/access at a good guy price. It's interesting to not hear a massive outcry from the greens or activists about how the tortoise is being overlooked but then it's a catch 22 due to the fact that it's a green project. I cannot recall an Earth First sabotage of equipment at any of these sights...

Additionally the supporting services: Powerlines/right of way access and oversight of these sights seems to not have been a consideration on the public lands nor has any question of efficiency or long term impact at these locations. Primm is a great example of a lack of efficiency and is a superfund sight just waiting to happen that the taxpayers will eventually have to burden.
 

J Prich

Well-Known Member
The problem I have with these projects is the BLM etc are allowing the use of land which is supposed to be available-used for/by the public, but is now being managed almost more like a profit center. Deals are being cut allowing the use of our public lands under the guise that this is in the best interest of the public. Ironically there are massive amounts of unused, developable private property for sale; which in a majority of the cases is in proximity of the public lands being basically auctioned off. But ironically a number of these developments be they solar, wind etc continue on public as opposed to private land. HMMMM, could it be $'s?

The Tortoise offered a convenient argument for those that wanted access by certain parties of for certain uses reduced. Ironically those original concerns are now being overlooked and areas that needed to be kept pristine to allow for minimal impact to a species are being overruled to allow commercial use/access at a good guy price. It's interesting to not hear a massive outcry from the greens or activists about how the tortoise is being overlooked but then it's a catch 22 due to the fact that it's a green project. I cannot recall an Earth First sabotage of equipment at any of these sights...

Additionally the supporting services: Powerlines/right of way access and oversight of these sights seems to not have been a consideration on the public lands nor has any question of efficiency or long term impact at these locations. Primm is a great example of a lack of efficiency and is a superfund sight just waiting to happen that the taxpayers will eventually have to burden.
In fairness to the environmental groups and nature advocates, I personally recall seeing and hearing from a decent number of folks making statements at public hearings to oppose solar development as well. That was/is one of the crazier dynamics of all of this...that the traditional "nature" folks and OHV folks are actually BOTH opposed to this kind of development, and still losing.
 
Often accused of being the Bureau Of Livestock and Mining, or in other words, abjectly advocating for extractive industries.

Solar and wind both extractive in nature due to their land uses and impact.
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
Solar is a flash in the pan, and just like with Wind, will prove to be too expensive to do without taxpayer subsidies for eternity. Even Tesla is bailing on it now. After next year, it will be dead and several solar programs in the pipe are not going to be built with a huge taxpayer loss being given to the Democratic players who pushed them through.
You're not going to be a threat to Kreskin anytime soon... The plants in NV aren't getting direct subsidies. It's private money. (this will bake your noodle, this project is largely Australian money) People want to invest because the private market for commercial electricity in southern NV is is growing rapidly. NV Energy wants to buy it as well. Hence the desire for this piece of land. But you wouldn't know this because you don't live here and don't know what's going on here. But you sure do have a strong opinion about it.

Tesla bailing on solar? Have you told Elon? The issues at Tesla solar are just like with the cars having to do with Musk's inability to lead a company of that scale. They've struggled for three years trying to get it scaled and now there is competition in both traditional panels and roof appearing panels. They missed their early adopter advantage. Plenty of rooftop solar here and we get some of our metered power from solar. You may get some of your power from Ivanapah.



Solar and wind both extractive in nature due to their land uses and impact.
That's a good point. I hadn't thought about it that way before. They're extracting the use of the land from us.

Not related to either of the above quotes but the project area is 11 square miles. That's a 44 mile loop if you drive the perimeter. Depending on the terrain and layout you might get almost one full Mint lap in the area. The size of the the area required for the panels, distribution and storage is about 4 square miles. That will give an idea of how much is being taken.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
So Tesla isn't talking about stepping out on the Solar Bonds they bought with the takeover of Solar City? I know plenty about solar. It is a sham. The mandates that force providing companies to purchase solar and wind are just playing a game. Solar is very inefficient, but the previous administration as well as several State administrations have tied service to purchase source. Australians? You mean scam artists looking for investors who will be out millions when the project proves to be a flop. Guess who walks away with the money? As is always the case, 'private' money is used to grease political palms in the name of saving something, but in the end, the only ones saved are the ones who walk with the money. Yeah, I don't support putting solar on any land if it is going to prevent OHV recreation, but I have also heard and seen attempts by the greenies to place Valley of Fire on the 'protected' list over the years. And that means NEVER having OHV recreation there again versus this proposal.

The Gov't has been saving land for future production of lots of things over the centuries. Why do you think National Parks, National Forests, and BLM lands exist? Parks were supposed to be protected for public recreation. Forests were to be sold as harvestable Timber resources. Grazing, mining, etc... was for the BLM. Energy production follows along those lines. All I would like to see change is, if lands are taken out of one realm, like OHV access from Valley of Fire, then the same amount of land should be opened up somewhere else from fallow lands not doing anything and sitting in Gov't limbo.
 
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