What could those 4 things possibly have in common? You will see...
Last night I was speaking to a former (you will see why I say "former" in a moment) friend and he informed me that he had purchased his wife a leopard cub. Now, normally I would probably have solicited a bit more information prior to hitting ballistic speed with being pissed off but...
Adorable baby isn't he or she?
Leopards are endangered species... and the only way to get your hands on a cub is to purchase them on the black market... after some idiot supplier has murdered the mother of the poor cubs.
Then he sent me even more ballistic when he claimed he was merely "thinking about" getting his wife a leopard cub. I was already beyond pissed off... you can imagine what THAT bit of nonsense did to my blood pressure. We aren't going to mention what it did to my rather nasty-when-provoked redheaded temper.
I came completely unhinged. Flat-assed lost it. Went from "zero" to "so pissed I was ready to hop a plane to my friend's location and beat him to death with the nearest blunt object" in a nano-second. Let's just say I am pretty sure he will never speak to me again. No great loss from my perspective...
What does that have to do with Joshua Trees, Harry Reid and Desert Tortoises?
A couple of weeks ago another friend who lives in Harry Reid's home town sent me an email asking for some information. It seems near Searchlight Nevada company called Duke Energy is planning to put a wind farm on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Now this wouldn't be a problem but for a few tiny difficulties...
First... The Environmental Protection Agency requires something called an "Environmental Impact Study" to be done because there are several endangered/protected species in the immediate area. BLM on the other hand says "We don't need to do an EIS"
Second... Desert Tortoises, an endangered species, NEST in the area where Duke Energy, BLM and Harry Reid want to put this wind farm and they are going to have to BUILD ROADS in the area where the tortoises nest. Does anyone else see the potential conflict and harm?
A desert tortoise out for a stroll in the Mojave Desert.
But BLM says "We don't need to do an EIS"....
Third... Joshua Trees grow in the area. 90% of established Joshua Trees DIE if you try to transplant them... and the clowns in question claim they can TRANSPLANT hundreds of Joshua Trees to build roads in the desert for this wind farm. Joshua Trees are the oldest known living thing on the planet... 90% death rate when transplanted... and some fools want to transplant them to build a bunch of roads.
A joshua tree in bloom.
And BLM says "We don't need to do an EIS"...
Wait... the last point is even better...
Lastly... According to a study commissioned by the state of Nevada on potential locations for wind farms... the area in question is, at best, rated as "Marginal to Fair" for the production of energy using wind turbines.
The white areas on the map above had not been measured for wind energy production at the time the map was created.
In the map below I have blown up the area where Searchlight is so you can see the color of the map around Searchlight, NV. Searchlight is in the southern part of the state... South of Las Vegas, West of Arizona and East of California. Down there in that little pointy area near the bottom of the state where the map is all tan and orange you will find Searchlight. Tan indicates the area is marginal, orange indicates the area is fair.
And through all the questions and complaints... Duke Energy says "We're going to build it here because Harry Reid wants it built here."
Can anyone explain to me why BLM would claim an EIS is "not necessary" in an area where endangered species nest?
Can anyone explain to me why any energy company, if they are looking to make a profit on wind energy generation, would build a wind farm in an area where there is little likelihood they will generate enough electricity over the course of the lifetime of the windmills to justify the expense of building the facility let alone turn any kind of profit?
Do you still wonder what Leopard Cubs, Joshua Trees, Desert Tortoises and Harry Reid have in common?
What can we do? We can flood Duke Energy, BLM and Harry Reid with email and letters and phone calls objecting to the loss of habitat necessary for the survival of endangered species when said loss benefits Duke Energy shareholders and is contrary to the best interests of the public.