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Letters: Solar power's 'fast track'

May 04, 2012

Re "Solar standoff in the Mojave," Editorial, May 1

The Times is correct about the Genesis Solar Project when it writes, "Solar power is a vital part of the move to clean, renewable energy as well as greater independence from foreign oil." Genesis will produce enough electricity for nearly 90,000 average homes and avoid putting more than 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

Sadly, the term "fast track," which once described a proactive, priority-driven approach to breaking bureaucratic gridlock, has now become unfairly associated with cutting corners and adverse environmental and cultural impacts. All together, cultural and environmental studies and formal permitting of Genesis took more than two years, with about 10 federal and state agencies providing input.

Although fast-tracked solar projects were sent to the front of the permitting line, the impact reviews and mitigation processes were, and continue to be, as rigorous and as respectful as ever.

Mike O'Sullivan

Juno Beach, Fla.

The writer is senior vice president of NextEra Energy Resources, which is building the Genesis Solar Project.

The Native American artifacts are a reminder that the desert is not land without a soul. Although life in the desert may not be apparent from a speeding car, there is life and history in the great Mojave, which deserves our respect.

My home's roof, however, could provide space for a solar panel or two. No past would be tainted and no future destroyed by covering up my roof.

But I guess there's not enough money to be made in creating homes that are energy self-sufficient.

Debra Gala

Huntington Beach


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