Mojave Reading "Campout" Art Party

February 5th, 2022 at 1pm

Jackrabbit logo-wide

Poets, writers, singers, musicians, performers:
Share your words, music and song during our February event at what would be the future Sagittarius Solar Facility in the south Pahrump valley. Please email Shannon@MojaveGreen.org to volunteer and for more info. Food and drinks!

What: an energetic gathering in conversation with the senseless and needless destruction of the wild Mojave desert off of Tecopa Rd. Nextera Energy is currently bulldozing 92,000 old-growth Mojave yucca, hundreds of thousands of creosote, and biologically rich ancient soil crusts. Our Mojave desert is storing carbon just like a forest and it is a vibrant ecosystem. Four other proposed solar projects would destroy this entire valley, along with others throughout the Nevada outback. We stand in solidarity with the non-human world and demand that solar be built over parking lots and on rooftops in the urban and suburban environment. #PutSolarInTheCity
Wilderness is NOT a renewable resource and utility-scale solar in the Nevada desert is not green and it is not sustainable. Join us for an afternoon in celebration of the Spirit.

Location map
Location visual

Where: Off of Tecopa Rd, where the Bureau of Land Management is considering an application for the Sagittarius solar facility. From Las Vegas, take Blue Diamond Rd/HWY 160 towards Pahrump and turn left on Tecopa Rd. Go about 5 miles down. Look for our flags! Park on Tecopa Rd at the reading or park at the Rabbit Camp and walk 1 mile to the reading. This event is outdoors on public land. There is no running water or facilities.

Event Schedule: Reading starts at 2. Campfire to follow. Food and Drinks!

Staying Overnight: Bring your own gear and camp with us! The Shoshone Inn and Tecopa Hot Springs Resort are about 30 miles away, bordering Death Valley. The Pahrump Nugget and Holiday Inn are 15 miles down the road.

What to bring: Warm clothing, tennis shoes or hiking shoes. Water and extra food/drinks.

For more Info:
Check out the video series “Desert Apocalypse” by local filmmaker Justin Mcaffee: https://desertapocalypse.com/
Go to www.BasinandRangeWatch.org for info about utility scale energy development in the Mojave Desert
See the Facebook Event
Visit www.MojaveGreen.org

Rooftop Solar Under Attack

The Desert Report has consistently favored the distributed generation of electrical energy and has previously reported on the Save California Solar Coalition (March 2020). We report here and endorse the following news release by this group:

Today, the CPUC released their proposed decision on net metering, and it appears that the CPUC has sided with the utilities.
The bottom line: If the proposed decision is approved by the CPUC, it will make solar and batteries too expensive for middle and working class people. The CPUC is scheduled to make a final decision on January 27th. The decision would take effect four months after the vote (May 28th).
This, even after hearing from 120,000 members of the public and over 600 nonprofit organizations, community leaders, affordable housing advocates, faith leaders, elected officials, schools and municipalities.
The topline details of the CPUC's proposed decision are as follows:

1) Highest solar penalty fee in the U.S.

• If you put solar panels on your rooftop, you will be charged $57 /month on average.
• PG&E customers: $48 / month
• SCE customers: $60 / month
• SDG&E customers: $64 / month
The only other utilities that charge solar penalty fees this high are in Wyoming and Alabama.

2) Massive cut to the credit solar users receive for the extra energy they produce for the community.

Currently, solar users are credited on average twenty-five cents per kilowatt hour for their excess energy. The proposed decision slashes the credit to about five cents per kilowatt hour. This cut would happen right away, with no transition period.

3) These changes will be retroactive on existing solar users.

The current 20-year protection for solar users on "NEM1" and "NEM2" will be reduced to 15 years.
The bottom line: Most middle and working class people will not install solar if these changes go into effect. That would cause the rooftop solar market to significantly contract, putting tens of thousands of jobs on the line.

The window-dressing in the proposal

As expected, the CPUC included items intended to make it seem like they are helping more working class people afford solar. For example, they exempt some low-income people from the solar penalty fee, and also offer a temporary subsidy for ten years (unless you happen to live in SDG&E territory).
These items are window-dressing. The CPUC's "incentive" would only partially offset the other changes, making it on the whole worse for working communities than the status quo.
Groups like CALSSA and Protect Our Communities Foundation and Vote Solar have already laid out how to actually increase solar access in working class communities. The CPUC chose to ignore those substantive proposals.

What we need to do next

The top thing is to flood Governor Newsom's office with calls. Like hundreds every day. His number is 916-445-2841.
A sample message could be:
"My name is ___. I live in ____. I am strongly opposed to the rooftop solar proposal released by your Public Utilities Commission. California should not charge people penalty fees for putting solar panels on their rooftop! If you are serious about helping people control their energy bills, avoid blackouts and fight climate change, you need to encourage MORE people to install rooftop solar. Governor Newsom, this is on you. We are watching what you do next. "

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Rough Hat Solar Project on the CA/NV Border

Yet another industrial solar energy project is being proposed along the route planned for Green Link West Transmission Project (see the Desert Report, September, 2021). The Rough Hat Solar Project project is one of several being proposed in a pristine desert area immediately south of Pahrump, NV. This particular project is sought by Candela Renewables, LLC.
The project site is located in important desert tortoise habitat. When desert tortoises were moved off the Yellow Pine Site in May, 2021 just to the south of the Rough Hat site, nearly 3 times more tortoises than predicted were found and 30 of the 139 moved were killed by hungry badgers in drought conditions .

Rough Hat Solar Project

Other resources in this area include sections of the the Old Spanish National Historic Trail; old biological soil crusts; desert pavement that is about 100,000 years ol; hundreds of rare Parish Club Cholla, scattered Joshua trees, kit fox, desert iguana, burrowing owl, coyote and several other species, all of which would be destroyed by the planned construction.
The development of solar energy resources will be essential to reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. However, before destroying natural habitats, photovoltaic panels should be placed on our already disturbed spaces: over parking lots, on warehouse roofs, in abandoned agricultural lands, and on residential rooftops. The benefits from industrial size projects on public lands go to stockholders of the energy corporations, and the consequences of the projects are suffered by the much greater population at large.
A very detailed examination of the environmental costs of the Rough Hat Project can be found on the Basin&RangeWatch website <https://conta.cc/3rUY2FK> along with suggestions for public comment to the permitting agencies.

For more Info:
Check out the video series “Desert Apocalypse” by local filmmaker Justin Mcaffee: https://desertapocalypse.com/
Go to www.BasinandRangeWatch.org for info about utility scale energy development in the Mojave Desert
See the Facebook Event
Visit www.MojaveGreen.org

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Recognition for Desert Literature

The environmental group Basin and Range Watch is excited to announce its sponsorship of a new Mojave Desert Literary Laureate position, which was launched in March, 2021.
Ruth Nolan, Professor of English and Creative Writing at College of the Desert, has been named the inaugural Mojave Desert Literary Laureate. She is editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California's Deserts (Heyday Books) and several other desert books.
Ruth grew up in the Mojave Desert near Apple Valley, CA, and worked as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management California District and U.S. Forest Service during her undergraduate college years.
The Mojave Desert Literary Laureate position is serving to bring the literary arts - lectures and writing workshops for residents and visitors of all ages - to the vast desert region's rural communities, thereby helping strengthen the dedication of Basin and Range Watch to Mojave Desert conservation issues through relationship-building between the humanities and sciences.
"We are excited to have designated Ruth Nolan as our first laureate," said Laura Cunningham, Co-Founder of Basin and Range Watch. "This new position is so important to broaden our educational efforts to advocate for the Mojave Desert and meld the literary arts with the science of conservation biology. Nolan has a long history of poetry and writing in and about the desert with consideration for environmental and social justice issues of rural and underserved communities here.”
For years, Ruth has also developed and led California desert-centric writing and literature workshops and classes for the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and many other organizations.
In addition, she continues to involve desert communities with lectures and public forums for her ongoing award-winning humanities project, Fire On the Mojave: Stories from the Deserts and Mountains of Inland Southern California.

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