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August 28, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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August 28, 2014

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Page A-6- Mason County Journal- Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 GUEST COLUMN Double standard in country's approach to renewable power very day, birds flying near a certain spot on the California- Nevada border are incin- erated in midair. They're called "streamers," so named for the puff of smoke that appears as they ignite and plummet to the ground. Fed- eral wildlife investigators es- timate there's one streamer every two minutes. What's causing this? The birds are falling victim to a massive solar-energy installa- tion in California's Mojave Desert. Launched last year, the $2.2 billion facility is the world's largest plant to employ power towers. It sits on 4,000 acres of public land, which is home to the threatened desert tortoise. More than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect solar rays onto three 460-foot towers. The water inside the towers is heated to produce steam, which runs turbines that generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. The reflected sun rays are bright enough to interfere with commercial airliners flying between Las Vegas By DON BRUNELL and Los Angeles - and pow- erful enough to heat the air around the towers to 800 degrees, incinerating birds in midair. Experts think the light generated by the solar array attracts butterflies and other insects, which in turn attract the birds. The Center for Bio- logical Diversity estimates the annual death toll as high as 28,000 birds. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say the power- tower style of solar technology holds "the highest lethality potential" of all the solar projects being developed in California. Nevertheless, the facility's de- veloper, BrightSource Energy, is seeking permission to build another power-tower solar installation with a 75-story tower between Joshua Tree National Park and the California- Arizona border. The location is in the flight path of protected golden eagles and peregrine falcons and is home to more than 100 other species of birds. The Audubon Society says that, before granting any new permits, officials should track bird kills for a that serves as a way-stop meal for full year, including during the annual migratory birds. Village spokesper- migration. But California Gov. Jerry son Della Trumble noted, "We'd have Brown is resisting calls to slow or much less impact on the birds with stop development of the power-tower our road than these wind farms have solar installations, on the eagles." There appears to be a double stan- Yes, we need renewable energy. dard when it comes to the environ- But we also need oil, natural gas mental impacts of renewable power. - and, yes, coal - if we are to meet Massive solar farms encroach on future energy demands. And they thousands of acres of habitat for the should all play by the same rules. threatened desert tortoise, yet the in- Here's an idea: Rather than spend- stallations are allowed to go forward ing billions of taxpayer dollars trying - assisted by billions in taxpayer loan to regulate the coal industry out of guarantees, business, use some of that money to In contrast, the Bureau of Land support development of zero-emission Management cordoned off 400,000 coal plants, like China is doing with acres from energy development in its GreenGen project. Utah and Colorado in anticipation Rather than use the bureaucracy of a listing to preserve the Gunnison to strangle the Keystone Pipeline, let sage grouse, it be built. We could use the jobs and Wind turbine blades rip through the economic boost it would bring. federally protected golden and bald The same goes for biomass and natu- eagles and other raptors. But rather ral gas. than fine the industry, the Obama Double standards for energy and administration quietly expanded the turning a blindeye to solar- and wind- industry's permits, turbine kills are not acceptable. Meanwhile, in Alaska, the Inte- rior Department prohibited a remote Don C. Brunell is a business fishing village from building a gravel analyst, writer and columnist. He can road, saying it would affect eelgrass be contacted at theBrunells@msn.com. continued from page A-5 three different faces. "But maybe, much, much He holds both a commis- later, for now I must win." Hold h n f I sioner and state Senate seat,You may ask what we have .ore-u,s But many times misses for all his years, when the commissioners Lawsuits, and a sewer that meet. brings us to tears. There are many who doubtThe residents' wallets hold Editor, the Journal it can really be done, less and less money, One question: If the politi- To do two different jobs To pay for these debacles cal signs are not removed by with a business to run. that aren't very funny. the day afLer the election, why But there is still another He collects for two jobs but aren't the politicians held ac- conundrum to solve, works about one and a half. countable and fined for What face does he use as heIf we all could do that, how littering as an ordinary citizen constantly revolves? much we would laugh. would be? To change and adapt to To Joe Citizen, "I'm a Dem- what group he is talking, ocrat," he says with a grin, Shirley MustoHe will be what you want, "But I'll change to indepen- Shelton and say without balking, dent in order to win." "I am a Democrat, indepen- The issues are no matter, dent or Republican" he willfor he knows the score, A man with cite, And votes Republican, be- Then just choose the right cause he's that to the core. three faces face to get them to bite. All the smiling, handshak- And reels them in like fishing and promises he makes, on a line, Are not for us poor peons; Editor, the Journal But their only use is to we don't have what it takes. We have in our county of make himself shine. Ever ambitious and ever such unusual cases, "I will work very hard," healert, he ferrets out those A man with two hats and says with a thrust of his chin. Who will advance his ca- reer and the issues he chose. Bush, a committee of one as it There is no care for how turned out. hard some are struggling, At the Democratic-held Jef- Or to keep family together ferson/Jackson dinner that no matter how troubling, year, Gov. Booth Gardner in So think before voting; is his opening remarks, "I don't this who we need? think anyone here wants Or Irene Bowling, who is to see President Bush re- ready to lead, elected." I hollered out, loud Who gathers information enough for most everyone to and is determined to learn hear, "Tim Sheldon does." My How to make sure our wel- remark made the Shelton- fare is the major concern. Mason County Journal, during its reporting of the event. Patricia Vandehey While socializing that eve- Sheltonning, I asked Sheldon, "Why do you continue to run as a Vote Sheldon Democrat?" "Because it's not illegal," was his reply. out of office It's 10 years later, and he is still doing the same thing. Editor, the Journal He's a wolf in sheep's clothing. In 2004, Sen./Commis- Does he have no pride or in- sioner Tim Sheldon was the tegrity? Shame on him. self-appointed chairman of Vote for Irene Bowling. the self-created committee he titled Washington State Dem- Tim Sayan Sr. ocrats to Re-elect President Grapeview TINA LI, MD Specializing in Fm y Medicine CARING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY Including allergies, asthma, colds & flu,! COPD, depression, diabetes, headaches, high blood pressure, Immunizations, preventive care, well child exams, weight management and more! Dr. Tina Mapili is joining the Capital Family & Sports Medicine team. She provides comprehensive care for patients of all ages and has a passion for managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and COPD. Dr. Mapili is boaM certified in family medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and earned her doctorate at University of the East- Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, Philippines. She is fluent in English and Tagalog. 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