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PacifiCorp’s Ekola Flats wind farm outside Medicine Bow, Wyoming, has 63 turbines, most of them 4.3 megawatts, nearly six times larger than some of the older steel grid wind towers outside Palm Springs.
Renewable Energy Los Angeles
Good morning and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, August 26. I’m Sammy Roth, The Times’ energy and environment editor. I also write our weekly Boiling Point newsletter.
La City Council Approves 2035 100% Clean Energy Target — A Decade Sooner Than Planned
Exploring the American West is one of my favorite pastimes – so when I find an excuse to work, I jump.
This year I traveled to Wyoming to visit the construction site of the largest wind farm in the United States and then along the planned 732 mile transmission line to send all that clean energy to California. The scope and scale of the project is amazing. Workers are making mats for about 600 wind turbines on a vast ranch slightly larger than the city of Los Angeles. The power line spans four states and has more than 450 private landowners along it. The expected price is $8 billion.
The project is a striking reminder that renewable energy has become a lucrative business — even before the $369 billion in clean energy incentives included in the Anti-Inflation Act signed by President Biden last week. Wind farms and power lines in Wyoming are funded by conservative billionaire and longtime oil tycoon Phil Anschutz, who owns the Coachella music festival and the Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles. He is far from a climate activist. He does this to make money.
If you care about tackling the climate crisis, that’s fine. The motivation to win is a powerful force.
This Is How India Could Kickstart A Green Energy Revolution
But the Anschutz wind farm also presents some obstacles that could derail the clean energy revolution — and fuel a future of increasingly deadly wildfires, droughts, heat waves and floods, of which there are already many.
During the 7 days I met a biologist who was concerned that wind turbines would kill sea eagles; a farmer worried that the Anschutz power line was industrializing his countryside; A National Park Service official said the power line cuts through the landscape en route to the national monument. There are many such conflicts in the West, some involving clean energy projects that threaten sacred Native American sites.
These are not reasons to abandon renewable energy and burn coal, oil and gas indefinitely. As I wrote after the Orange County oil spill last year, there is little comparison between the damage caused by fossil fuels and the negative effects of solar and wind power. For example, the Audubon Society notes that wind turbines cause “far fewer deaths than outdoor felines and building collisions.” Audubon researchers also found that global warming threatens to wipe out two-thirds of North America’s birds.
But the reality is that many communities are skeptical of clean energy projects in their backyards. While this resistance is sometimes due to misinformation, I have found that it is often rooted in genuine fear. Change is scary. Rural Westerners love their open vistas, high-paying fossil fuel jobs, and sagebrush habitat. They are ready to fight to protect it.
A Big Step Forward In Debate Over La’s Clean Energy Future
If big cities like Los Angeles want to make sure the wind and solar farms they desperately need can actually be built — and fast enough to slow the climate crisis — they have no choice but to work with their critics and find a solution. to all these energy transitions for the people on the other side of the power line.
It’s a tough road to navigate – but not impossible. As I write in this week’s Kookpunt newsletter, there are many opportunities to build bridges and find middle ground. There will never be a clean energy project without protests and without consequences. But it is possible to limit the damage and build local support.
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You can drive your last petrol car. at the request of the Governor. California regulator Gavin Newsom on Thursday banned the sale of most new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035. By 2025, 35 percent of new cars sold must be electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen, rising to 68 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035. Cars and trucks are the state’s biggest contributor to global warming, so the rule could go a long way in curbing the climate crisis. los angeles times
European Commission Is ‘doing Everything We Can’ To Speed Up Renewables Project Permitting
Steep, icy and cruel. If you’re thinking about climbing Mount Shasta, take your training seriously and only do it if you’re really ready. My colleague Jack Dolan has written a touching story about how a recent top attempt turned deadly — a controversial climbing practice that critics say gives amateur climbers a false sense of security. los angeles times
More racist text from Torrance police. More damning text has appeared in court documents eight months after a Times investigation revealed that at least a dozen Torrance police officers exchanged racist and homophobic messages. City and county prosecutors have dismissed at least 113 cases involving officials involved in the scandal or who served as key witnesses. los angeles times
Take your child to the library for active learning. Los Angeles County is using federal COVID-19 relief funds to expand children’s education programs at more than a dozen libraries, including several branches in low-income and under-resourced communities. These projects include story times, robotics, 3D printing, and connecting young students with peer mentors. list
Agriculture accounts for 80 percent of the Golden State’s water use. But many Californians say they don’t know if farmers are doing enough to conserve water — despite being urged to reduce the amount of water they use in their homes. This is one of several interesting findings from a survey of registered voters supported by The Times. Twenty-one percent of respondents called the state’s climate-induced water shortage “very serious.” los angeles times
Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (la100)
Solutions to last year’s Orange County oil spill. A Texas company whose undersea pipeline spewed 25,000 gallons of crude into the Pacific Ocean in October has tentatively agreed to settle more than a dozen lawsuits from business owners and local residents who say they were injured by the spill. Includes a surf shop, a bait and tackle shop, and several fish and shellfish businesses. Amplify Energy declined to disclose terms of the settlement. los angeles times
Unintended consequences of the Affordable Housing Act. Senate Bill 1079 would make it easier and more affordable for California nonprofits to buy foreclosed homes. But in many cases, deep-pocketed private investors partnered with nonprofits to sell the homes instead. A state-run nonprofit has flipped dozens of foreclosed homes in California to help fund its community programs in Virginia. KFC
Campers, say goodbye to propane tanks. Or at least for some of them. The bill, awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, would ban the sale of disposable 1-pound propane tanks, which are typically used to fuel camp stoves or lanterns. They flocked by the tens of thousands to Yosemite National Park and other hotspots beyond, creating a hazardous haze of waste. But don’t worry – those little isobutane tanks for single burner stoves still work. san francisco chronicle
Welcome to the California Courts. Here’s my lame introduction to Nate Rogers’ wild tale of the legal drama surrounding the original handwritten lyrics to “Hotel California.” The Eagles hit even those of us born in the 1990s. People also learn to love. The Eagles’ Don Henry said the lyrics were stolen decades ago, and three people were accused of auctioning them off – including a high-ranking official at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. los angeles times
Inside Clean Energy: The Us’s New Record In Renewables, Explained In Three Charts
Experience a Hawaiian roller coaster ride. Somehow it’s been 20 years since “Lilo & Stitch” came out. I love how my colleague Kristi Karas sang the film’s most iconic song in a Hawaiian children’s choir and how the experience made her life better. “I’m very proud that this full Hawaiian song can be the opening song… Sharing our culture and our language is a very powerful thing,” said one choir member. los angeles times
If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll love our daily podcast, The Times, hosted daily by columnist Gustavo Arellano and our newsroom editors. Outside the headlines. Download and listen in our app, subscribe to Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.
Have a nice drive, Art Moreno. Here’s what Orange Gustavo Arellano lifer Jaari wrote about the Los Angeles Angels owner who may soon be selling the team:
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