On August 1, BLM issued a press release indicating its approval of the Eagle Crest Energy Company's plan for a "pumped storage" project at the former Eagle Mountain Mine near Desert Center. MBCA and many environmental groups and Joshua Tree National Park supporters have opposed the project. Even though it is described as a project that supports renewable energy, damage to the Park's ecological balance seems certain. MBCA's most recent News Update about this issue highlighted the Company's missed construction start deadline. In his August 1 story on the Eagle Crest project, Sammy Roth of the Desert Sun has included a history of the issues and status of the project and perspectives from both sides.
At their May 24 meeting, in a 4-0 vote, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission supported the original version of Policy 4.10 of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element of the County General Plan. In August 2017 the County Supervisors had asked for a review of 4.10. After nine months, Land Use Services provided the Commission with a revised version of 4.10 that clearly benefitted developers over desert communities.
ard of Supervisors.
Will the County of San Bernardino truly stand behind their claims of support for residents of rural communities who have been confronted in recent years with one after another ill-suited development projects? The answer will become evident at this Thursday’s 9AM Planning Commission Meeting in San Bernardino. The single agenda item is the Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE) section 4.10. Read the original version and the staff-recommended revision and see how unprotected the revision leaves us. The original version prohibits large scale renewable energy development in rural desert communities; the revised version simply benefits energy developers.
MBCA continues to monitor land developments that are potentially harmful to the Mojave Desert, and to make public comments during environmental review processes. MBCA's recent comments on the Daggett Solar Energy Project - once again carefully researched and documented by Board member Pat Flanagan - have been sent as part of the scoping process for the Daggett Solar Energy Project. Among the nine points of concern described concerns are air quality, scenic views, biological resources, and environmental justice.
The San Gabriel Valley Water District, having been approached to be a customer of Cadiz, Inc.'s proposed water project, declined the opportunity at its Board meeting on Tuesday, March 21. MBCA has been informing our supporters for several years about the likely harm that will be done to East Mojave ecosystems should the company's plan be completed. This March 22 Desert Sun article describes the current situation and summarizes the history of the project. This LA Weekly article that we shared last fall provides a comprehensive look at the Project's history.