Greening California, SB X8 34, And Our Renewable Energy Revolution

SB X8 34 is not the latest robotics model. It is a new bill from California.

SB X8 34 authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, will help further streamline and speed up the permitting and siting process for large-scale renewable energy projects. These are the projects that will provide Californians with jobs and greater energy independence and attract investment to the Golden State.

Today, at the world's largest operating solar plant, the NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System (SEGS) facility in Hinkley, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to announce a new joint program to make it easier to conserve land for endangered species and for developers to build renewable energy projects in California.

Mojave Desert Photo Courtesy

"I cannot think of a more appropriate place to underscore that renewable energy is not 'pie in the sky' than here at the edge of the Mojave Desert where the largest solar plant in the world is generating clean, cost-efficient renewable energy for California communities," Secretary Salazar said during a tour of the facility.

There are more than 240 proposed renewable energy projects in California that could produce nearly 70,000 MW of clean energy annually.

These proposed projects throughout the state include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydro facilities.

In addition to touring the NextEra Harper Lake facility today in Hinkley, the Governor and Secretary Salazar toured a 250 megawatt (MW) proposed solar facility, the Abengoa Mojave Solar project. The proposed Abengoa site is seeking funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and will create over $1 billion of capital investment and more than 1,200 jobs in the local region. The Governor's action today will help the Abengoa project and other renewable energy projects seeking Recovery Act funding.

"Our bold and innovative vision for California has made us a pioneer in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection and, as a result, we are seeing an energy revolution in California," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "California now has more than 240 proposed renewable projects looking to build and create jobs. Today's action will help speed up the process for some of these large projects to break ground this year and qualify for federal stimulus funding. By working together, we can increase renewable energy development, create thousands of jobs and preserve our state's cherished natural resources"

To better coordinate the state's efforts to increase renewable energy and create jobs, the Governor's Administration will hold The Governor's Renewable Energy Policy Conference at the University of California, Riverside on Wednesday, March 24.

Solar Farming

SBX8 34 will ensure state regulatory agencies have the resources necessary to focus on the state's stringent environmental review process and permit renewable energy facilities. The bill creates further efficiencies by:

  • Establishing the Renewable Energy Development Fee Trust, a revolving fund that renewable energy developers can pay into through project-assessed fees determined by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The fees will be used for the state and its federal partners to implement project mitigation measures including purchasing private lands related to habitat restoration, and monitoring and transaction costs connected to offset impacts to biological resources from construction.
  • Ensuring the needed environmental reviews occur in a timely manner by authorizing the CEC and DFG to assess application fees on projects at an amount that would fully fund dedicated staff to work exclusively on applications.
  • Speeding up CEC review by allowing for the free flow of information in a more timely manner by removing communication barriers between outside state agencies and CEC commissioners.

The Governor urged the legislature to continue working to help streamline the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects throughout the state in a signing message attached to SBX8 34.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan was also formed to create a science-based, stakeholder driven process to identify geographic areas designated for renewable energy development, and conservation and declining species management. This plan is currently scheduled to be completed in 2012 and is meant to provide a long-term road map to development and conservation in the California desert.


The following excerpt by: David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his aides gathered at the graffiti-scarred ruins of an old feed and farm supply store as they waited for U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to arrive for a tour of the future solar energy site.

The crumbling building and more than 1,700 acres around it, mostly former alfalfa fields, have been acquired by Abengoa Solar, which is seeking approval to build a 250 megawatt thermal generation plant about nine miles northwest of the San Bernardino County town of Hinkley.

"It will go as far the eye can see along those transmission lines," Scott Frier, Abengoa's chief operating officer, said to Schwarzenegger and Salazar as he showed them a map of project site.

The governor and Salazar also visited the control center for the nearby 160 megawatt solar plant, NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System, the largest operating solar plant in the world.

Posted via web from The Green Blog Network


Genesis Awards Honors The Cove, Up and Hotel For Dogs

The Cove, which is a searing indictment of Japan’s dolphin slaughter, carried off the Genesis Outstanding Documentary Film award, adding this significant honor to a growing list of accolades.  Keely and Pierce Brosnan presented the award to director Louie Psihoyos. Tying for Outstanding Feature Film were the Academy Award-winning Up and Hotel For Dogs, both of which offered meaningful messages about the importance of the human-animal bond.

Pierce Brosnan, Keely Shaye Brosnan, Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove and Genesis Awardee) Photo Courtesy Long Photography/HSUS.

The Humane Society of the United States’ 24th Genesis Awards, presented on Saturday, March 20th at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. is the only awards show of its kind honoring the news and entertainment media for raising awareness of animal protection issues. This year’s event featured actress Kristen Bell and actor Michael Vartan introducing a special tribute to dogs, and was a banner night for dolphins and big cats.

Big cats had their moment in the Genesis spotlight when Melanie Griffith presented her mother, actress and animal advocate Tippi Hedren, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Recognized for her tireless advocacy on behalf of captive big cats, Tippi, who runs the Shambala Preserve, a sanctuary for discarded exotic felines in California, was given a standing ovation.

“From Oscar-winning films and documentaries to engaging TV news and entertainment programming, animal protection themes and concerns are more prevalent in the media than ever, proving that as a society we have become more attuned to the welfare of animals.”

- Beverly Kaskey, executive producer of The Genesis Awards and senior director of the Hollywood office of The Humane Society of the United States.

  In television, the popular, syndicated The Ellen DeGeneres Show took home the honor for Outstanding Talk Show for a segment highlighting the inhumane treatment of animals raised for food. And FOX’s primetime favorite Bones won the Outstanding Dramatic Series prize for an episode highlighting the factory farming of chickens. In other major TV categories, FOX’s Family Guy picked up the Sid Caesar Comedy Award for satirizing the double standards people apply to animals. And Animal Planet’s Whale Wars scooped the Genesis award for Outstanding Reality Series for a hard-hitting episode exposing the reality of whale slaughter.

  NBC’s TODAY, HLN’s Issues With Jane Velez Mitchell, and KCBS/KCAL-TV NEWS AT 11 (Los Angeles) were among the honorees in various TV news categories for their reporting on companion animals, circus abuse, and the mislabeling of real fur as faux.

Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren, Antonio Banderas
Photo Courtesy Long Photography/HSUS


Among this year’s celebrity presenters and attendees were Antonio Banderas, Kristen Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Emily Deschanel, Jessalyn Gilsig, Ginnifer Goodwin, Melanie Griffith, Teri Hatcher, Tippi Hedren, Jon Lovitz, Maria Menounos and Moby.

  The 24th Genesis Awards will air on Animal Planet on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at .

Teri Hatcher
Photo Courtesy Long Photography/HSUS

multiple articles by Martin Hickman
For a prolific output of highly informative articles underscoring the connections between the myriad foods and products we consume and the abuse and exploitation of animals.

For a complete list of Award Recipients go to:

Posted via web from The Green Blog Network