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Deserts or parking lots?

March 31, 2009

Re "For Feinstein, environment trumps clean-energy plans," March 25

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is right to insist on protecting California's deserts from industrial solarization. People who care about California's natural lands are not going to sit by idly while rare habitat is converted to industrial energy production so folks in the city can heat their hot tubs.

The governor said: "If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it." In Southern California, cars bake in the sun on thousands of acres of parking lots -- biological wastelands "shovel ready" for solar panels. How about there?

Patrick Veesart

Santa Margarita

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Re "A duel in the desert?," editorial, and "Let a thousand filaments bloom," Opinion, March 27

We cannot wait for perfect solutions to curb fossil-fuel use. Economic fear-mongering should not paralyze us.

There are timely solutions that can help the economy. Large-scale solar projects will provide employment. Requiring utilities to pay for homeowner-generated power would kick-start homeowner investments in installing solar panels. And a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be an effective way to encourage technology and curb emissions.

These three options should be on the table now.

Amy Hoyt Bennett

Encinitas

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