Green energy production meets local opposition

There is a growing back lash by locals and locales that are witness to conversion of thousands of acres of previously undeveloped desert and foothill areas and impact from operating energy production facilities.  The local residents have chosen to live in relatively isolated areas in part to get away from industrialization, urbanization and other assorted -zations.   Or they have an intense appreciation of the beauty and diversity of the areas and don’t want to see them destroyed.  Whatever their motivations for living in near wilderness, a growing number of these residents are increasingly concerned about the effect of these energy projects on their lifestyles and environs.   

The demands placed on communities and environments by the scale and scope of wind and solar installations are daunting.  These conflicts will continue in frequency and intensity.  So far it is only equipment that is being damaged.  (Though we’re beginning to see wildlife encounters from these facilities as well.)

 This is about trade-offs and those willing to make the trades aren’t the ones that will feel the direct effect of these changes.  This is very similar to the problems some urban neighborhoods confront as they always find themselves as approved locations for waste treatment or recycling or metal processing or highly polluting businesses.   There has to be a better way.

Since November, at least eight incidents of vandalism at wind farms in Southern California have been confirmed by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. The incidents have involved AES Wind Generation, enXco Development Company and Western Wind Energy Corporation. The losses, which involve damage to meteorological equipment, amount to a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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