Solar done right

Should our conversion to solar energy be done on urban rooftops, brownfield sites and marginal agricultural land, or should it be carried out via a rushed give-away of public lands staged by the Bureau of Land Management? This report by Solar Done Right, a group  formed by the watchdog non-profit Western Lands Project and a collection of concerned conservationists, would rather see solar on, say, untenable land in the Westlands Water District rather than pristine desert. If you trust Interior to get it right without supervision, it merits remembering that the last time the curtain was drawn on the department’s oversight of big energy, our civil servants were snorting coke, watching porn and having sex with the company reps. I wish I were making that last part up. Alas, no.

This lovely image of the sun comes from NASA.

Take a hike

Baker, Nevada, near the Great Basin National Park. Photo: Abby Johnson / Facebook

President Barack Obama yesterday instructed the Interior and Agriculture secretaries, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality to study how best to reconnect us with the Great Outdoors. Click here to read about it, then pack a bag so it’s not all foreigners blissing out in our National Parks.

Via the Great Basin Water Network.

“Carving Up the Commons” explains the dark art of Western land deals

 

To download this book for free, or to order a copy for $10 from the Western Lands Project, click on the cover art

IF YOU have ever driven the stunning reaches of the Mojave, Sonoran and Great Basin deserts and wondered who owns them, the answer is: You do. It is almost all public land.

But for how long and under what terms is by no means certain. Janine Blaeloch’s new book Carving Up the Commons: Congress & Our Public Lands explains the history of that land, the challenges we face in preserving it and the dark art of Congressional land deals that are steadily wheeling millions of acres and the region’s best resources into private hands.

Carving up the Commons is of especial interest to Westerners. While the fate of public land is decided in Washington DC, most of the land itself is in the West. The pressure to