The Feds have put a moratorium on new solar power plants being built on public lands according to this New York Times article. They claim they need to assess any "environmental impact" a new solar energy plant might cause. Their estimate is that they will need two years for their studies.
The Bureau of Land Management and the Interior Department cite possible causes of environmental concern such as:
- Water: most solar plants would be located in desert areas and the water needed to run them may cause problems for surrounding cities.
- Reclamation: how in the world would the feds "restore" the land after being used by a plant that has been running or 20 to 30 years. We're told it's a "big issue."
- Transmission Lines: they're wondering how much damage is going to be done to native vegetation. Also on their collective minds is just what will the "desert tortoise and Mojave ground squirrel" have to say about all this. Interviews with them will probably begin shortly.
The general thought is that yes, it would be wise to study this but not at the expense of getting these new plants up and going. Get the plants going and study the impact in real time as they progress in their development.
Editor Pat: This is what I warn about. Big government and multinational companies joining together to slow down to a crawl technology that will benefit people. How would it benefit government to have it's population independent and living off the grid? A population of strong rugged individualists would be self-sufficient and would not need a large "Nanny" government.
We can be sure that any time research and development brings progress and innovation to technology that services people better than the status quo-powerful forces will challenge it.