Letters to the Editor for Feb 26, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
“Condor Conundrum’’ (Feb. 19) raises the question of whether we should allow any renewable energy project to be built or if we should plan carefully and minimize negative impacts such as the killing of birds as we convert to renewable energy.
This same question needs to be asked regarding the building of large solar projects in the desert southwest. Currently applications for around 80 big solar projects totaling 700,000 acres (about the size of Rhode Island) have been received by the Bureau of Land Management in California alone. The average size of these projects is 8,000 acres. This area would be completely destroyed as native habitat – no more desert tortoises, wildflower displays or recreation. Additional land will be destroyed in order to build transmission lines to bring the energy produced to urban areas.
We should support the installation of solar panels but they should be on roofs or vacant lots and as close as possible to the places where the energy is needed. If these desert solar projects go ahead it would be a major grab of public land to create wealth for corporations and wealthy investors at the expense of wild, currently pristine, natural habitat.
If you belong to an environmental organization I urge you to let them know they should oppose this destruction of the natural environment and that they should not just give these projects a rubber stamp because they involve renewable energy.Susan Hubbard | Salinas
The California Legislature passed a budget package last Thursday after a pivotal vote by State Senator Abel Maldonado. Senator Maldonado is being labeled a “hero” by many newspapers and talking heads and I thank him for choosing to represent the people that elected him and not his political party.
I do not call him a “hero.” The Republican Party and Senator Maldonado held the state hostage while optically posturing, chest beating and acting as if they alone were going to save the state. While Maldonado held out for no increase in gas taxes, freezing legislators’ salary in deficit years and allowing the voters to decide if they want to revise the state constitution to allow open primaries for legislative, congressional and gubernatorial elections, schools were closing, employees were facing job losses, businesses were failing, state and local services were cut back, and the state was losing its financial credibility in the world. Was the gain that the “no new taxes” Republicans made worth the grief, fear and desperation felt by constituents? Was losing nonprofit services for those in need worth the triumphant feeling that the legislators opposing the budget must have felt?
Many feel that voters have a very short memory and that many transgressions made by legislators are soon forgotten. I think not. There has been too much pain shared by too many. At the next election I am going to have a list of those who put their political party above the good of the state and not only vote for those that voted to keep this state from financial disaster but actively oppose the reelection of those that created such an atmosphere of fear during the budget process.Lynn Riddle | Oak Hills