Skip navigation.
Home

Green Living




WIND COMPANY THAT SUED TO BLOCK RELEASE OF BIRD DEATH DATA PLEADS GUILTY TO KILLING BIRDS IN WYOMING

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Pacificorp pled guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Wyoming to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with the deaths of protected birds, including golden eagles, at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming.

WIND TAX INCENTIVES EXTENSION PASSES CONGRESS

 

East County News Service

December 17, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – A bill to extend the wind production tax credit and investment tax credit, along with other tax incentives for wind energy developers, has passed both houses of Congress and is now on President  Barack Obama’s desk.

WIND ENERGY COMPANY SUES TO BLOCK RELEASE OF BIRD DEATH DATA TO MEDIA

 

Photo: Hawk at Ocotillo wind farm; photo by Jim Pelley

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A lawsuit filed by Pacificorp, a wind energy corporation, seeks an injunction to halt the Associated Press from obtaining reports filed by the company with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service documenting deaths of eagles and other protected bird species at its wind energy facilities. Pacificorp, which is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, claims disclosure would cause “irreparable harm” to the company.

GLOBAL WARMING: HAS ANYONE REALLY DONE ANYTHING?

 

 

 

 

By Roger Coppock

 

 

The first article of this series showed that bone dry East County San Diego warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the globe.  ( http://eastcountymagazine.org/why-san-diegos-east-county-global-warming-... )  In this second article, we'll measure the success of past solutions.  In the final article of this series, I'll suggest solutions.

BRIBERY SCANDAL ENSNARES CARLYLE GROUP & RIVERSTONE HOLDINGS: PARENT COMPANIES BEHIND OCOTILLO WIND AND QUAIL BRUSH PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 9, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Corporations behind the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility  and the failed Quail Brush gas-fired power plant in San Diego are being sued in federal court amid revelations of bribery allegations and a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

SOLAR POWER INSTALLATIONS SOAR ACROSS U.S.

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--Installation of solar photovoltaic energy in the United States grew 41 percent last year – with 1,354 megawatts added last year, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports.  The U.S. now has a whopping 16.1 gigawatts of photovoltaic, plus another 1.4 gigawatts of concentrating solar power capacity.

SANDAG VOTES TO APPEAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN DECISION TO STATE SUPREME COURT

 

East County News Service

December 7, 2014 (San Diego)—By a 20 to 1 vote, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has voted to appeal a ruling on its 2050 Regional Transportation Plan to the California Supreme Court.  Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery cast the lone vote against filing the appeal.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO EXTEND TRAIL SYSTEMS AND ADD GNATCATCHER HABITAT

 

California Gnatcatcher, Photo via Wikimedia Commons

East County News Service

December 4, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego County Supervisors voted this week to approve purchase of 345 acres of open land to extend trail systems and to protect habitat for the endangered California gnatcatcher.

PETITION LAUNCHED OPPOSING OPENING MILLIONS OF ACRES OF CALIF. DESERT TO INDUSTRIAL-SCALE ENERGY PROJECTS

 

“Without significant input from the public, from you, this juggernaut will proceed relentlessly, sacrificing millions of acres of desert habitat, wasting precious groundwater, degrading air quality, and “taking” endangered species and other wildlife.” —David Garmon, Borrego Springs, petition author

By Miriam Raftery

November 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Environmentalists have launched a petition at Moveon.org asking the public to sign in opposition to the Desert Renewable Energy Plan, which would open up millions of acres of California deserts to industrial-scale wind and solar projects. Instead, environmental leaders want the California Energy Commission to do an analysis of rooftop solar as an alternative. 

You can sign the petition here:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/we-dont-have-to-sacrifice?source=c.em.mt&r_by=1516679

The petition states: “More renewable energy is available from rooftop solar in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties than will be derived from the siting of utility-scale generating facilities on 2 million acres of desert habitat called for in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The unintended consequences of utility-scale facilities in the desert are becoming known and are unacceptable--dust storms in Lancaster, midair incineration of birds at Ivanpah, depletion of scarce groundwater in Borrego Springs.”

The petition was started by Borrego Springs resident David Garmon, president of the Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy. It is supported by the Desert Protective Council in San Diego and by Basin and Range Watch, another southwest environmental protection organization.

TWO PACE COMPANIES DOMINATE CALIFORNIA'S HEADLINES

 

Originally Published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

November 26, 2014 (San Diego)--It has been nine months since California approved a $10 million reserve fund, to reimburse mortgage holders if homeowners with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) default. (The residential program has been moving in slow motion since 2010, when, concerned about the priority PACE loans had over mortgages, the Federal Housing Finance Agency ordered the government-sponsored enterprises to not underwrite mortgages for homes with PACE loans.)

SERRATED WIND TURBINE BLADE HURLS OFF DEBRIS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – When a multi-ton blade fell off a wind turbine at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, the company claimed such accidents are rare.  Now another Pattern Energy wind project has hurled off dangerous debris.  This time, a turbine in Canada hurled off an 18-inch chunk of serrated blade, which flew 400 feet before landing in a field, the Chatham Voice reported.

RECYCLE YOUR HOLIDAY WASTE

 

Source: I Love a Clean San Diego

November 26, 2014 (San Diego)--The holiday season is full of celebrations, comfort food and gifts. Along with the holiday spirit comes increased waste.  Household waste increases by more than 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Knowing how to reduce waste can save money and conserve natural resources and landfill space.

INDUSTRIAL SOLAR PROPOSAL IN EL MONTE VALLEY OUTRAGES RESIDENTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

A proposed industrial solar farm in Lakeside’s scenic El Monte Valley is stirring up controversy.  Property owner David Pressman/OCI Solar Lakeside has proposed to build a 40-acre solar photovoltaic project with approximately 8,500 solar panels on El Monte Road.  OCI is a Korean company with holdings in the U.S.

A hearing on the plan is set for December 3rd at 6:30 p.m. before the Lakeside Community Planning Group at the Lakeside Community Center.

“Everyone I have talked to too is against it for many reasons.” says photographer Billy Ortiz. “My reason is El Monte Valley is and should always be a scenic corridor, period.” He posted photos of the proposed site and drew some strong responses.

PLASTIC INDUSTRY TRIES TO BAG THE BAN, PUT PETITION ON BALLOT TO REVERSE BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS

 

East County News Service

November 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – California’s Legislature recently passed a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown to ban plastic grocery bags starting next year. But now out-of-state plastic manufacturing companies are trying to block that ban with a ballot initiative.

APPELLATE COURT CONFIRMS SANDAG'S TRANSPORTATION PLAN FAILS TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2014 (San Diego)—California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal has confirmed that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) broke state law with a long-range transportation plan for our region that failed to take steps to reduce greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.

OCOTILLO RESIDENTS SAY WIND TURBINE NOISE CREATES “LIVING HELL”

 

“It's a horror beyond words; something you have to live to understand. Something must be done to stop the noise.” – Ocotillo resident Parke Ewing

November 14, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Residents in Ocotillo say that during windy conditions in early November, noise from wind turbines is making their lives unbearable.   

Jim Pelley captured the loud noise on videotape, juxtaposed with footage of Pattern Energy’s Glenn Hodges selling the project to supervisors in Imperial Valley by claiming that noise would not be an issue due to setbacks.  “The project was sold on the understanding to be five miles from the community of Ocotillo,” Pelley wrote on a Youtube post. “We have turbines as close as 1/2 mile, we are now forced to live with the horrible noise of 112 turbines when the wind blows.”

His neighbor, Parke Ewing, says his complaints to Imperial County and Bureau of Land Management officials, as well as Pattern Energy, have fallen on deaf ears, with no meaningful responses.

COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED ON DRAFT DESERT RENEWABLE ENERGY CONSERVATION PLAN

 

November 14, 2014 (Sacramento)--In response to public requests, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will extend the public comment period for the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for 45 days.  The comment period, originally scheduled to close on January 9, 2015, will be extended through February 23, 2015.

ASK THE EXPERTS: NOV. 15 AT WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

East County News Service

Drought got you down? Need garden tips, conservation insights and ideas for drought-resistant plants to make your fall landscape more beautiful with less water?

Get help at Ask the Experts, an event set for Saturday, November 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon. Presentations and exhibits include a home compost workshop, toss the turf class, life after lawns, horticultural displays, how to hire a landscape contractor and save money, ask the designers, personalized landscape design consultations, free garden tours, and shopping for water-saving plants.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TRAILBLAZING EFFORT NEEDED ON SAN DIEGO CLIMATE ACTION PLANS

 

 

 

Photo from San Diego's Changing Climate: A Regional Wake-Up Call

By Jeffrey Meyer, Poway, SanDiego350 volunteer

November 13, 2014 (San Diego)--With the recent release of a new United Nations report on the global impact of climate change, we are given still another chilling warning that we are facing catastrophe unless we accelerate efforts to confront this crisis. The release of this report comes on the heels of a court decision rejecting the San Diego County climate action plan and the ongoing development of this state-mandated plan by the City of San Diego.  It raises the stakes for everyone and compels us to reach higher and dig deeper for community solutions to this crisis. 

IVANPAH, WORLD'S BIGGEST SOLAR PLANT, WANTS TAXPAYERS TO PAY OFF ITS DEBTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Owners of Ivanpah, the world’s biggest concentrated solar energy facility, borrowed $1.6 billion from the federal government to build the project in the Mojave Desert. Now they are seeking a $539 million federal grant to pay off that debt.  In other words, they want taxpayers to pay off their loan that was also funded by U.S. taxpayers.

DEPT. OF INTERIOR OFFICIAL DATED ENERGY LOBBYIST, SOUGHT JOB WITH WIND INDUSTRY WHILE INVOLVED IN DECISIONS ON LOCAL ENERGY PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Viejas Chairman Anthony Pico met with Steve Black, a senior counselor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, on February 28, 2012 and sent Black a letter  on March 5, 2012 asking him to visit Ocotillo to address tribal concerns over desecration of cultural resources  from the proposed Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (which was since approved and built). Donna Tisdale, then with Protect Our Communities, has documents showing Black was also involved with federal approval of the controversial Tule Wind project, fielding requests from Iberdrola Renewables to help gain approval of the project in East County despite concerns about eagles.

Neither Pico nor Tisdale had any idea that Black was dating an energy company lobbyist at the time – or that he sought to gain a job as chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the wind industry's trade group, while still employed at the Department of the Interior.   But an investigation by the Department of Interior's Inspector General has raised these concerns and more.

GOLDEN EAGLES SPOTTED IN JACUMBA NEAR PROPOSED ENERGY SITES

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2014 (Jacumba) – Consultants hired by renewable energy companies in recent years have consistently claimed that there are no golden eagles in the Jacumba-Boulevard Planning areas, where several major energy projects are proposed or planned. 

But two separate residents of Jacumba now report seeing a pair of golden eagles in the past 10 days—including on documented with a photograph.  The first sighting was over the town itself and the second was directly across from the Jacumba Solar project and a proposed power line tie-in to the ECO substation.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO REPLANT ALPINE CREEK WITH NATIVE PLANTS NOV. 15 AND 22

 

November 10, 2014 (Alpine) – The Back Country Land Trust (BCLT) and the Endangered Habitats Conservancy are looking for volunteers to help restore the watershed along Alpine Creek and Alpine Boulevard.  On Saturday, November 15th and 22nd, volunteers will help plant native trees, shrubs, and ground-cover species to enhance native habitat along this important wildlife corridor through Alpine.  Here are details provided by the BCLT:

ETHANOL "FLEX-FUEL" COMING TO LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2014 (La Mesa) – Starting Monday, November 10, Center City Shell at 3810 Massachusetts Avenue will be offering up an ethanol fuel blend made from corn by Pearson Fuel.  The E85 Flex Fuel will be sold for a special rate of just 85 cents a gallon on opening day, when Miss California will be on hand for a ribbon cutting.

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION OBJECTS TO SDG&E POWER LINE PLANS

Photo: High-voltage Sunrise Powerlink tower by Lake Jennings

November 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has applied for a master permit to construct power line replacement projects in Cleveland National Forest. Now the Cleveland National Forest Foundation  has submitted formal comments objecting to the plan.

According to the Foundation, SDG&E’s project fails to assure that the state’s renewable energy mandate of 33% renewable by 2020 will be met; the project aims to increase energy project four-fold without proposing any reductions in dirty energy sources.

COURT RULES COUNTY’S CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN IS NOT ADEQUATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2014 (San Diego)—The County’s climate action plan lacks teeth to assure that greenhouse gas emission goals will be met,  California’s 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled. The Appellate Court upheld a San Diego County judge’s ruling in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club argued that the county’s reliance on voluntary measures and lack of clear deadlines were not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the targeted amounts by 2020. The Court also noted that the County rejected mitigation proposed by the Sierra Club without  valid reasons.

GREEN HOMES TOUR NOV. 9 INCLUDES INNOVATIVE EAST COUNTY RESIDENCES

Photo: This house rocks! Boulder in center of Jamul home absorbs heat by day and gives off warmth by night.

 

East County News Service

November 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego Green Building Council will hold its Green Homes Tour this Sunday, November 9th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour features innovative, sustainably designed homes throughout San Diego County.  There is a $5 fee for non-members. Several East County homes are on the tour.

WILDERNESS PROTECTION GRANTED TO 43,000 ACRES IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

November 4, 2014 (Cleveland National Forest)—U.S. Forest Service officials have signed a Record of Decision for the Cleveland National Forest Land Management Plan Amendment  that gives wilderness protection to an additional 43,000 acres in the forest, at least temporarily.

MEXICAN WIND TURBINES MAR VIEWS ALONG BORDER

 

October 28, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Residents in the southern portion of San Diego and Imperial Counties have voiced surprise at seeing massive wind turbines sprouting up just south of the border.  The La Rumerosa wind facility in Mexico is visible across our region – causing consternation in some quarters.

DESERT CONSERVATION PLAN MAKES ITS DEBUT

 

By Nadin Abbott

October 25, 2014 (San Diego) Representatives of state and federal agencies held a public meeting in San Diego at the Hilton in Mission Valley to present the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) to citizens.

The plan, which covers 22 million acres of deserts in California, has the following stated goals according to the program:

Syndicate content