A key part of President Obama's energy plan -- replacing fossil fuels with green alternatives -- is facing increasing opposition from an unlikely source: environmentalists.
Some environmentalists, who have successfully fought a wind farm on the border of Oregon and Washington, are trying to block a massive solar plant in the Mojave desert. And now an Oregon county is considering a ban on wind power in the foothills of the blue mountains.
"We all want to be as green as we can be. But at what cost?" Richard Jolly of the Blue Mountain Alliance. "To take everything from us? This valley could be surrounded by them."
But you all want to be as green as you can be so why would you oppose it? Oh I see an eyesore...
Jolly says 400-foot wind turbines are a bird-killing eyesore. The developer argues the danger to birds is exaggerated but admits every big energy project has its downside.
"If we hold out for the perfect environmental silver bullet, if you will, it will always be 15 years down the road," he said. "We have to make incremental progress."
For decades, environmental groups have talked about "big oil," painting the petroleum industry as greedy and destructive. Now similar language is being applied to renewables. Instead of eco-friendly green power, increasingly it's "big wind" and "big solar."
Large environmental groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, bristle at the idea of dissension in the ranks.
"We are working very aggressively to make a planning process happen with utilities, with industry, with local groups all at the table," said Rick Duke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Center for Market Innovation.
Obama has set a goal of getting 25 percent of the nation's power from renewable sources by 2025. The White House contends that will create millions of jobs and has the support of business and environmental leaders.
But many local activists say we need to slow this rush to renewables or risk trading one power problem for another. The environmentalists have marched with signs saying Save The Planet Kill Yourself I guess they were not kidding. Seems no form of energy is acceptable to them.
For decades the mantra was "big oil", painting the petro industry as greedy pigs and destructive and now similar language is being applied to green energy. Now it is becoming "Big Wind" and "Big Solar".
It seems unless you live in a cave or kill yourself nothing will make them happy. As more proof of that...
Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs. A surge in foreign demand, set off by a European Union directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment.
Doctors, regulators, lawyers and courts in China - which supplies two thirds of the compact fluorescent bulbs sold in Britain - are increasingly alert to the potential impacts on public health of an industry that promotes itself as a friend of the earth but depends on highly toxic mercury.
Making the bulbs requires workers to handle mercury in either solid or liquid form because a small amount of the metal is put into each bulb to start the chemical reaction that creates light.
Mercury is recognised as a health hazard by authorities worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a particular threat to babies in the womb and young children.
Wait just a minute, they want to force us to use these bulbs in our homes and they are filled with Poison...
Well Yes under Waxman-Markey they are basically going to be mandatory.
In fact, the EPA has a 20-step guide to cleaning up broken bulbs (pdf file) that outlines the danger to you! So as long as you save the planet it is fine by them if you or some Chinese die as long as they make a few million $$$!
Who Says Green Jobs Don't Pay Well?