Can Wyoming Windmills Mainline Clean Power to California?
The last holdout between California and a new infusion of clean energy–enough to power two million homes–is an unlikely alliance between a Colorado ranch and a flightless bird. Phil Anschutz, former oil prospector and current billionaire, has been hard at work over the last decade-plus planning a project that would build 1,000 wind turbines in Wyoming and route the power to California via a 730-mile transmission line that crosses Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. However, Cross Mountain Ranch, which lies along the proposed path, is resisting. While the line would only cross 30 acres of the 16,000-acre ranch, a conservation easement granted by a branch of the Department of Agriculture stipulates that none of the ranch be sold for development. The ranch provides valuable habitat for the sage grouse, a bird increasingly encroached upon by human development.
Despite the fact that Anschutz’ power project has been praised by President Biden’s own Secretary of Agriculture, the easement remains in place. In this instance, the dual priorities of moving to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and conserving 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030, both priorities laid out by the Biden White House, appear to undermine each other.
Other Recent Posts
Could making friends with your neighbors be the secret to climate resilience? “All my homies are locally-sourced, non-GMO and gluten-free,” writes Maylin Tu of Los Angeles.
Santa Clara’s National River Cleanup Day brought together 596 volunteers and resulted in over 25,000 pounds of trash collected. “It was one of the first times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we could actually organize group cleanups,” says Valley Water’s Nick Ingram
In California, climate change has has left a collection of wildfire hazard zone maps, published 15 years ago, out of date.
From tattoo parlors to senior housing, San Pablo Avenue has it all. Now the busy thoroughfare is also a testbed for a distributed network of rain gardens.
Hop on a speeding bicycle with photographer Lonny Meyer as he travels the urban artery that is San Pablo Avenue and visits green infrastructure installations.
In the era of global warming, an invisible force, as primal as atmospheric chemistry, is coming to bear on human pocketbooks. Even if you don’t believe in climate change, insurance companies do.
I’ve watched an army of white trucks topped with cranes and chippers remove the oaks, redwoods, bays and manzanitas from around the power lines on our mountain in Napa. PG&E is felling a million trees per year and spending over a billion to do it.
The Resilience Metrics website is like a food-for-thought buffet for project planners. This toolkit offers a set of questions designed to get a project on track and to help participants measure performance.