Conservation Alert, 2012 May | Desert Solar Assembly Bill Problems

Please help stop a bad desert solar project by stopping a bill in the State Assembly.

This Thursday, May 10, the State Assembly will vote on Assembly Bill 1073 that would allow the Calico Solar project to proceed by circumventing the normal environmental review by local and state agencies. The project would impact one of the last if not the last extant population of Penstemon albomarginatus(White-margined beardtongue, a CRPR/List 1B plant) in California, as well as acres of desert dry wash plant communities – many of which are rare or unique vegetation types. Additionally, the proposed project site is an important area for desert tortoise. AB 1073 represents a special gift legislative bill crafted specifically for this one project and would potentially provide grounds for other projects to follow its example.

The Calico Solar project (aka, K-Road Solar, Solar 1) is an example of the type of poorly-sited energy project we’ve been saying SHOULD NOT HAPPEN in California, and the kind of project that the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a desert-wide Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) is trying to avoid. National environmental groups have attempted to stop the Calico project by suing the California Energy Commission but have been unsuccessful. Click hear for a PDF of a letter summarizing the past 3-year effort to relocate this project.

You can do the following:

1. Find who your Assembly representative is for your area. Click here for a website that will identify your Assembly Member based on your zip code.

2. Call your Assembly representative’s office on Wednesday and respectfully inform the person who answers that:
– you are a CNPS member and
– while CNPS supports the Governor’s efforts to increase renewable energy generation in California, building big projects on environmentally sensitive lands CANNOT be part of the answer, and
– you want your representative to vote NO on AB 1073.
– You might also encourage your Assembly representative to support future legislation that encourages more rooftop solar development in California, and
– thank them for taking your comment to the Assembly Member.

Thank you in advance for any help you can muster in the next 24 hours! Let’s see if we can help change the tide on this project.

Greg Suba

CNPS Conservation Program Director

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