Posted: February 10, 2019
County 5th District vs. 1st District.
In a recent press release regarding the
county's Fifth District community of Bloomington, representative Supervisor
Josie Gonzales reportedly stated, "The community definitely needs healthy
businesses to thrive; businesses choosing to be good actors that comply with
local, regional, state, and federal regulations enacted to protect all of
Supervisor Gonzales definitely has it right.
Gonzales was addressing the residents of Bloomington being unfairly
overtaken by a Wild West onslaught of illegal big rig storage sites.
A hundred illegal big rig parking sites have already been identified
by county code enforcement. The position of Supervisor Gonzales to
openly voice outrage and to encourage county enforcement to
"protect all of our residents"
from the damages of improper commercial operations is most refreshing
coming from a county supervisor.
Refreshing to hear because it is not something that
the rural residents in Supervisor Robert Lovingood's First District
can depend upon. At best, Lovingood has been dishonest and
disingenuous in representing the well-being of residents over the
interests of big business. At times, he appears to be tone-deaf
to community concerns regarding environmental and public health issues.
While lawmakers throughout the country and state
take supportive positions on proposed legislation, and they lobby hard
for their pending bills before their lawmaking colleagues, Lovingood
refuses to publicly announce his position on pending legislation.
He plays the prima donna drama card.
and the Renewable Energy industry.
Why is it so difficult for Supervisor Lovingood to
take a stand to uphold the existing County Development Code's
Solar Energy Development Standards
that restricts the placement of utility-scale solar sites
where they negatively impact residential communities?
Why doesn't he crusade for community values and protection?
Why is it also so hard to recognize the serious stupidity of
building utility-scale solar sites within a
Sand Transport Path
that will injure the health of thousands of people? What is
wrong with showing common sense and doing the right thing to protect
people? Only a man without honor sells-out his neighbors.
Supervisor Lovingood was elected by his district's
constituents to represent their interests, not Sacramento's moonbeam
ideals nor the special interests of foreign conglomerates.
Deadly Silicosis impacts the High Desert.
The county's openness to profile, marginalize and
eradicate the economically disadvantaged rural communities and
encourage utility-scale solar replacement is overt discrimination to
disenfranchise the property rights of the rural minority.
Utility-scale solar's disturbance of the desert's
fragile topsoil and the overturning of the ancient bacteria netting
that holds the soil down, unleashes hazardous PM10 silica dust to the
dust that becomes airborne is recognized under California's
Proposition 65 as a carcinogen. When we breathe the desert's
curse into our lungs, it becomes permanent and it can lead to
a multitude of health problems. Silica dust acts similar to
asbestos, a silicate mineral.
Utility-scale solar sites in the Lucerne Valley,
the Morongo Basin, and the Mojave Valley are in Sand Transport Paths
and are threatening surrounding lives and communities.
Eastward winds can drift and suspend the invisible
carcinogenic PM10 silica dust for days over Apple Valley, Victorville,
Adelanto, Hesperia, Barstow, and others.
These cities should not carry the unfair chronic health burden and the
social injustice of Sacramento's short-sighted Renewable Energy
San Bernardino County has less than 6-percent of
the state's population. County residents shouldn't
be burdened with an unfair high disproportion of deadly dust exposure
because others in the state naturally do not want utility-scale solar's
ill-health in their own backyards. You don't see solar panels
covering California's capitol building.
Supervisor Robert Lovingood's failure to openly decry
the unacceptability of the utility-scale sites in Sand Transport Paths
near residential communities demonstrates his ignorance of the
impacts or his wanton disregard for the lives of citizens.
No projects which would cause significant environmental effects should be
approved as proposed if there are feasible alternatives or mitigation measures that
would lessen those effects. (Cal. Public Resources Code § 21000-21004)
With the availability of rooftop solar, the
destruction of the county controlled pristine desert with utility-scale
Furthermore, the solar industry has approximately 400,000-acres
being set aside for solar development by the federal Desert
Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). County-controlled
desert land isn't even needed to meet the state's
County-controlled land, however, is more favored by
the solar industry because its location is more profitable to
develop. It is simply corporate profit over county lives.
Lawsuits may cripple county.
Attorneys who have successfully fought the large tobacco
industry and who have been awarded billions on lung disease may
now have a new Dragon to slay in the form of the County of
For instance, the community of Newberry Springs
lies in a known Sand Transport Path. As already acknowledged
in the county's own published Newberry Springs Action Guide,
"Generally, Newberry Springs experiences higher rates than San
Bernardino County for hospitalization and emergency room visits
for chronic diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary
Respiratory problems are expected to greatly increase
with the intentional development of a proposed 3,500-acre solar development
adjacent to the community.
Numerous utility-scale solar sites in the
Lucerne Valley and the Morongo Basin are expected to add years of
justifiable litigation. As the county will be fingered as
knowing better, punitive jury awards may bankrupt the county.
Supervisor Lovingood falling short.
Misaligned Robert Lovingood hides by inaccurately claiming
that he can not voice his position before a vote. Therefore,
he hides his transparency to his constituents and plays a political
With Supervisor Lovingood, his goal has been to
principally concentrate on the expansion of business in the county,
even at the expense of the health, safety, and the residents' quality
of life. There appears to be too much creamy political milk in
catering to business.
Maintaining San Bernardino County as a desirable
and a safe place to live should be the top priority. With that
priority will come desirable growth and the prosperity of compatible
businesses and jobs.
Refreshing 3rd District Supervisor.
Newly appointed Supervisor Dawn Rowe of the Third District is
refreshing. As a newcomer to the Board, she is allowing
her constituents to know her position on major topics. She
isn't playing hide-and-seek with her constituents. She
recognizes the huge dangers of placing large solar facilities
upwind to residents and the legal backlash ramifications to
Rowe recognizes that lives are being cut short
due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancers
caused by PM10 silica dust being allowed to be suspended
in our air.
Terri Rahhal and grandfathering.
Terri Rahhal, Director of Land Use Services ("LUSD")
has orchestrated that all filed solar proposals be grandfathered-in
prior to the restrictions of the possible adoption of Policy 4.10.
shouldn't be allowed. Policy 4.10 would protect many rural
communities from utility-scale solar development.
What Rahhal calls "customary"
grandfathering is an inappropriate and arbitrary action on her part
that is contrary to the public's well-being. She has repeatedly
sided with the solar industry and against the county's citizens.
Solar applicants have been long aware of Policy 4.10's
development and the Supervisors should rescind any previous
grandfathering as it conflicts with County Code. Any
complaining applicant should be met with a liberal interpretation
of the prior referenced County Development Code
(Solar Energy Development Standards) and the California Public Resources Code
Applications should not be grandfathered automatically.
The minimum standard for grandfathering should be (1) Project approval;
(2) bonded bonified funding to complete construction; and (3), a
Power Purchase Agreement
("PPA") to cover the entire project.
Without the three, initial county filings are only misty ideas that are
not worthy to justify the exclusion and trumping of developing
environmental and residential protections.
The Board of Supervisors on August 8, 2017, approved the Renewable
Energy & Conservation Element ("RECE") to the upcoming revision of the General Plan.
One portion called Policy 4.10 was requested by the Supervisors to be tabled pending
review and acceptance by the Planning Commission.
Rahhal was tasked with presenting Policy 4.10 to the
Planning Commission. This shouldn't have taken more than two months
before then bringing it back to the Board of Supervisors.
Unhappy that the existing Policy 4.10 did not favor the solar
industry, without direction from the Supervisors, Rahhal took it upon herself
to contact solar developers to develop an opposing
recommendation to the Planning Commission (which the Planning
Commission later unanimously turned down).
Rahhal successfully stalled Policy 4.10 from returning
to the Supervisors for over 18-months which opened the door for new
solar applications to sneak-in and register to claim grandfather exemption
to Policy 4.10.
This corruptive county process has shamefully advanced Rahhal
from Director of Planning for the LUSD to the top overall Director of LUSD.
Apparently, the more you screw the citizens of the county, the higher you advance
in county government under the Chief Executive Officer, Gary McBride.
Terri Rahhal earlier handled grants from the
state's Energy Commission totaling $1.1 million ($700K for
The grants consummated a county marriage with the state's
Energy Commission's lust to unfairly impregnate the
county with a grossly unproportional burden of the state's
drive seems directed to prove to state officials and the solar
industry that she can get the job done for the $1.1-million.
Lovingood needs to be diligent in his obligation
to address and protect his constituents by placing a check on the
county staff's personal ambitions.
The solar game.
The large utility-scale solar applicants
are playing the County. The solar applicants are
in a land-rush to be among the first to file with the county
in order to get their PPA
applications filed with the power distribution utilities.
Some applicants cannot get financing until they have a PPA.
None of the proposed large-scale solar applications
currently on file with the county have a
sell their proposed power production. Power utilities like
Southern California Edison, PG&E, and San Diego Gas & Electric are not
issuing PPAs as they currently don't need more
RE power. Without
a PPA, there is no power sale and no need for the project.
The current applicants are fishing.
The large solar developers are making applications and
taking their proposals as far as they can. Getting muddled in a
quagmire of time, regulatory hurdles, financing, fluctuating markets,
change in their company's goals or expectations, some are flipping or
dropping their project.
Solar projects with no
PPA should not be
grandfathered. They are not a bonified project.
The original applicant may not be the final owner after many years
of flipping. Rahhal's early grandfathering is an abusive injustice
to the county and its residents.
Policy 4.10 vote.
The Supervisors are expected to vote on February 28, 2019,
on adding Policy 4.10 to the Renewable Energy & Conservation Element.
A Board of Supervisors pro-utility solar vote
will be playing God and taking lives. It will be interesting
to see if any short-sighted Supervisor will take Satan's bait.