The Daily Caller
The Obama administration has set a target of having 80 percent of Americaâ€™s electricity come from â€œclean energy sourcesâ€ by 2035, but ironically one of the biggest obstacles to this goal could come from within the environmental movement itself.
From coast to coast, efforts to build everything from wind farms toÂ solar plants has run afoul of local environmental groups and the â€œNot In My Backyardâ€ (NIMBY) phenomenon. Pro-environmental journals, such as theÂ Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, as well as business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have each cataloged this trend.
â€œOften, many of the same groups urging us to think globally about renewable energy are acting locally to stop the very same renewable energy projects that could create jobs and reduce greenhouse gasÂ emissions,â€ Bill Kovacs, senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote in the introduction of the groupâ€™s recentÂ â€œProject, No Projectâ€ report. â€œNIMBY activism has blocked more renewable projects than coal-fired power plants by organizing local opposition, changing zoning laws, opposing permits, filing lawsuits, and using other long delay mechanisms, effectively bleeding projects dry of their financing.â€
Recent examples include environmentalist lawsuits seeking to block construction of a solar power plant in Californiaâ€™s Mojave Desert due to threats to the endangered desert tortoise and environmentalists suing to block the construction of a 75-wind turbine project in Nevada due to threats to localÂ wildlife.
Rob Mrowka, an ecologist for Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity, toldÂ The Ely Times of Ely, Nev., that a green energy projectâ€™s location sometimes outweighs considerations such as climate change.
â€œWeâ€™ve got environmentalists out there who are fighting with environmentalists over whether or not they want renewable wind power or they want to save the chicken,â€ Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe told The Daily Caller regarding Oklahoma environmentalists and their effort to block construction of windÂ farms because of how it could negatively affect prairie chickens.
Inhofe then charged that the environmentalists want to stop all energy production regardless of its source.
â€œThey donâ€™t want us to exploit any of our resources, so then we have to go to the Middle East, and that causes the price of oil to go up, supply and demand,â€ Inhofe said.
The senator believes an apparent hostility to energy production lies behind the effort to push cap and trade through usingÂ EnvironmentalÂ ProtectionÂ Agency (EPA) regulations targeting carbon emissions by farmers, manufacturers and power plants.
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