The news coverage of the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada has died down now, but I still have questions for the feds. What is interesting to me is not some politically incorrect words spoken by an elderly rancher, but what the federal government has done and is doing, and why. The federal government has made rather a fuss about the desert turtle (technically a tortoise) and how it cannot live with all those terrible cattle. Yet is seems to me that the desert turtle has somehow survived for an extremely long time despite the presence of cattle, horses and other creatures. How did that happen exactly? And how did it survive despite the non-existence of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, created in 1946), a division of the Department of the Interior (created 1849) neither of which is mentioned in the Constitution of the United States and are therefore unconstitutional (see the 10th Amendment).
Many have said that Cliven Bundy’s failure to pay grazing fees to the Feds (he believes the land belongs to the state of Nevada) is the reason the BLM has come after Bundy. However, the real reason may be that he is not a donor to Harry Reid. It seems that U.S. Senator Harry Reid has some interesting connections to the story.
Reid’s former Senior Policy Advisor, Neil Kornze is the new head of the BLM – is he Reid’s puppet? It is fairly certain that Neil Kornze at the BLM is a puppet of the mining industry. But I digress. It seems that the BLM and Senator Reid changed the tortoise’s habitat boundaries to comply with the needs of Reid’s top donor, Harvey Whittemore. Whittemore has leased land to BrightSource Energy, a company scheduled to create a 960-megawatt solar farm complex – a gift to the gods of environmental correctness.
So saving the tortoise is being used as an excuse to grab land, land that may be used for a solar farm complex. It turns out though that the nearly 400 megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (owned incidentally by Brightsource Energy) near the California/Nevada border has been in the news (that is if you live there, or if you really care about this sort of thing). It seems that birds (all kinds of birds) tend to see the gigantic mirrors and think they are seeing a lake. The birds then fly closer and the 1000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures either fry or singe the birds. This is what is happing at Ivanpah and it can be expected to be even worse at a larger facility.
If solar power is a problem because of its impact on birds, why not go with wind power? Well it seems that wind power is even worse – first you need wind, and it can be even less reliable than the sun. And then a lot of birds are being killed because they get stuck in the windmills – I assume this is also not good for the windmills. Yet this administration loves solar power and wind power, and they seem to hate coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power – all of which are far less detrimental to man and beast.
Hence, in this tangled little tale we see that a rancher is being harassed by an unconstitutional bureaucracy, to protect a turtle they claim is endangered (yet the BLM has plans to euthanize a large number of these turtles). This same bureaucracy, the BLM, has had no problem with allowing a ‘green company,’ to build, and if that ‘green company’ is also tied to a top donor to a U.S. Senator it hardly seems to matter. And if that ‘green company’ has a proven track record of injuring and killing birds, what are we to make of that? Who do they think they are fooling? Not the average American.
In 2010 the BLM created some ‘Proposed Solar Energy Zones,’ that covered 70% of Nevada. The BLM was hoping to lease much of the 9.6 million acres of land they own in that state, and leasing it to solar power companies would suit their agenda. Enter the Red Chinese. Senator Reid has a son name Roy, a lawyer, who is a real chip off the old block. Roy Reid is a former Clark County (where the Bundy ranch is located) Commission Chairman who urged the county to sell land to ENN Energy Group (the Red Chinese) at well below market value claiming it would provide more local jobs (how many? I couldn’t determine). Well guess who represents ENN, the company that wants to build an energy plant on the Bundy land?
But why are they doing it? It seems that for many people, especially government employees and politicians, wielding power is what is really important. And if a powerful senator wants it done - well so much the better. There is also the powerful community of do-gooders, environmentalist, etc. who feel good about themselves by promoting solar energy. Despite the record of solar energy killing birds and despite the fact that America has more oil in the ground than Saudi Arabia, supporting solar energy is important for a reason to those who are lacking in knowledge and awareness of the environment. They use the environment as a convenient way to gain power and wealth. Clearly as John Hinderaker argues, the Obama administration (and it’s backers) place greater priority on ‘green energy projects’ than they do on ranchers and public land. Or animals.