The Stimulus Bill and Greenergy

By February 17, 2009Energy

The White House at a blog post, ” Time to sign it,” anticipates President Obama’s signing of the stimulus bill in Denver by citing local news coverage of “clean energy” companies that expect benefits from the federal government spending and incentives.

Along those lines, the Washington Post runs a business section story, “Alternative Energy Still Facing Headwinds.” The piece examines pros, cons, challenges and environmentalist opposition to actually using the greenergy once it’s generated.

Operating in California, where investor-owned utilities must draw 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, San Diego Gas & Electric got tripped up when it first proposed a transmission route for the Sunrise Powerlink that knifed through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

A different route, which winds farther south, close to the Mexican border, was approved by a 4 to 1 vote of the California Public Utilities Commission. It is that route that is opposed by Tisdale, local planners and a group of environmental organizations. The Center for Biological Diversity sued in January to block the line.

“It goes through public land, and pretty precious public land,” CBD attorney Steve Siegel said. “It goes through some fire-prone areas. It goes through endangered-species habitat.”

So we can never build transmission lines in California that go through public lines and fire-prone areas. Leaving what, exactly?

Hugh Hewitt, talk show host, blogger and law professor also practices law in the area of Endangered Species Act protections and private property rights. He’s repeatedly noted that infrastructure projects can be stopped by environmentalist litigation unless waivers are built into the law, specifically the National Environmental Protection Act. Does the stimulus bill, H.R.1, have such waivers? Not that we see.

Related Hewitt:

And especially this one about nuclear power and the ESA, Habitat, Housing, Nukes and Ships: Rescuing the “Stimulus”

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