More than a year after submitting initial comments on the Stagecoach project near Lucerne Valley, MBCA has submitted new comments that focus on harm to the Scenic Highway 247 plan and damage to the desert’s valuable and significant natural carbon sequestration. Within the comment letter on pages 2 and 3 are maps and photos that illustrate the potential viewshed deterioration along Highway 247. Photos later in the letter also illustrate the carbon-capturing potential of undisturbed desert lands. A two-page Science Brief created by several environmental advocates including MBCA’s Pat Flanagan provides a simple overview of the desert’s carbon capture capability and value. Finally, a short paper titled Notes on Models of Carbon Dynamics for the California Deserts by Dr. Michael F. Allen of UC Riverside is provided for additional scientific background.
At a meeting with a Daggett Solar 66 Project representative initiated by MBCA Directors, the representative described several mitigation efforts directly related to MBCA's concerns listed in our April comment letter. As a follow-up, this November 2 letter was sent by MBCA to the Planning Commission to summarize the project's mitigation actions with reference to our original concerns and therefore our support for the Conditional Use Permit. The County Planning Commission will review the project at their November 4, 2021 meeting.
A November 2 news story by Sammy Roth of the Los Angeles Times provides a comprehensive overview of the many issues and viewpoints swirling around California's Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. MBCA's earlier news stories of May 8 and June 4 provide our history of involvement as we have signed on to Solar Rights Alliance letters seeking both local and distributed renewable energy commitment and climate justice goals. (If you cannot access the article, here is a text-only version.)
The Aratina Solar Project is proposed for a portion of undisturbed Mojave Desert in Kern County near the town of Boron. The land is mostly undisturbed Joshua Tree woodland, and its destruction for this project has numerous serious consequences for the ecology of the area and also would remove carbon-sequestering soil. MBCA's letter outlines the consequences and asks the Kern County Board of Supervisors not to approve the project.
The proposed Oberon Solar Project, to be located on undisturbed BLM land near Desert Center, has drawn a great deal of concern by numerous groups in addition to MCBA. While in a Development Focus Area (DFA) proposed under California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, the proponents are asking for amendments that contradict the Plan’s underlying rationale. In short, as MBCA’s Pat Flanagan writes in the MBCA letter, “It is not the role of the DRECP to bend to accommodate a project proposal. It is the project proponent’s role to accommodate the DRECP.”Read more
The Special Districts Department of San Bernardino County is applying for a grant to install electric vehicle charging stations at the Joshua Tree Community Center. MBCA has submitted an enthusiastic letter of support for the project to Frank Haggard, Recreation Supervisor of the Special Districts, based in Joshua Tree.
The Net Metering bill AB 1139 that would reduce benefits for home solar failed to pass a June 2 California Assembly vote. MBCA joined many organizations in March to oppose the bill. Several renewable energy industry news groups have provided information and commentary on the bill and the vote, including PV Tech, Solar Power World, and PV Magazine. While it is "off the table" for now, the bill could be reintroduced in January 2022.
- Light Trespass Workshop by Planning Commission
- Stop the Threat to Community Solar in California
- Short Term Rentals
- MBCA Takes a Stand on Glamping Projects
- Virtual Landscape Tour
- New MBCA Website Features
While Assembly Bill 1139 ("Net Energy Metering") contains provisions that support expansion of clean energy, especially to low-income customers, other provisions undercut those benefits. They add costs and reduce solar customer credit for extra energy they can send back to the grid. MBCA joined more than 30 organizations in signing a letter to insist on amendments that will continue to advance clean energy for low-income consumers.
The proposed Solar 66 project located in the Mojave Desert community of Daggett between I-15 and Highway 40 would provide 7 megawatts of solar power on about 134 acres. MBCA's comment letter on the County's Initial Study of this project points to concerns about flooding risks, air pollution, wildlife corridors, invasive species, and aesthetics.Read more