Posted: January 25, 2018
The morally corrupt alligators in the swamp need to be removed.
Last August, Supervisors Bob Lovingood and James Ramos spearheaded the removal
of a residential protection known as Policy 4.10 from the Renewable Energy Conservation Element.
The Element will become a part of the county's General Plan later this year. Policy
4.10 would have prevented utility-scale solar development on Rural Living and Agriculture zoned
parcels that comprise much of the High Desert, including much of the Silver Valley and Newberry
With Supervisors Bob Lovingood and James Ramos representing the desert regions and
fighting to thwart the residential protective inclusion of Policy 4.10, the other Supervisors fell
in-line behind them and removed the policy. The reasons behind Lovingood's and Ramos'
devastating sell-out against the desert residents are now beginning to be seen.
Since the betrayal of Lovingood and Ramos, an application last December for a
1,200-acre solar facility complex has been filed for Newberry Springs and a nearby application for
a 3,500-acre facility has been filed for Daggett. The Daggett facility will nearly surround
the Daggett airport, may expand south to the Interstate-40, and will involve six separate
Conditional Use Permits.
In comparison, the Soitec solar facility on Mountain View Road in Newberry Springs
Minneola (Newberry) project map. Click to enlarge.
Two separate solar sites in Lucerne Valley, totaling 400-acres, have recently
had building permits applied for. There are a number of actions that the County could
be taking to protect residents and the county's tourism industry but the Supervisors have
opened the door to the short-sighted pillaging of the desert.
Some local residents believe that the Supervisors' actions clearly
demonstrate discrimination against the severely economically disadvantaged communities of the
desert and that the Supervisors are not standing-up as advocates for their rural constituents.
Ted Stimpfel of the Newberry Springs Community Alliance states, "Not once has Lovingood
reached out to ask if the communities want utility-scale solar development. He knows
Stimpfel asserts that the in-coming devastation upon the desert by utility-scale
facilities is not necessary to meet Sacramento's power mandates as Distribution Solar (rooftop)
has been shown to be a viable alternative that would share the burden of solar panel placement
upon the end-user of the power. "Rooftop placement," states Stimpfel, "is also
a solution against Brown-outs and terrorist
attacks against the
electrical grid which has become common in other parts of the world. Emphasis upon rooftop
solar would further save ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars on new transmission lines,
substations and major components."
The proposed 1,200-acre Newberry Springs facility, in the southwestern portion
of the community, is expected to be only one of many solar assaults upon the residential hamlet
being promoted by Lovingood.
"Projects of these sizes just don't suddenly happen," states Stimpfel.
"The Supervisors' offices and the county planners would have been working with the developers
for a very long time on the site selections and stating approval before the developers would have
undertaken the expensive and drawn-out tasks of acquiring federal and gap funding, Power Purchase
Agreements with Edison and others, purchasing and acquiring options for the land, and developing
extensive plans before filing for the expensive application permits." To assist in speeding
the application process, the County has already hired outside assistance for the EIR evaluations.
Clearly, the desert Supervisors have known and had been successfully lobbied
regarding these developments for many months before the August 2017 public hearing on the Renewable
Energy Conservation Element, yet there were no public disclosures of these proposed pending
Minneola Solar Project Description - (5.8MB PDF)
Daggett Solar Project Description - (192KB PDF)
Letter from Fred Stearn to county's solar planner - (1.7MB PDF)
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Related past news blogs:
Corrupt County Leaders Are Reshaping Newberry
Lovingood Continues Damaging Votes
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Let's see, no county taxes are acquired from solar equipment, the county's important
tourist industry is adversely impacted, the project requires water use,
generated power is sent elsewhere, most jobs are taken by out-of-county workers, desert is negatively
impacted, local residents are highly opposed... so why would the supervisors be supporting these