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California Desert Contested in Alternative Energy Plans

California wants solar and wind power, but just where it goes is rife with controversy. Senator Dianne Feinstein is coming out against plans to build huge solar and wind farms in sensitive desert areas.
March 26, 2009, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"In a move that could pit usual allies -- environmentalists and the solar and wind industries -- against each other, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is preparing legislation that would permanently put hundreds of thousands of acres of desert land off limits to energy projects. The territory would be designated California's newest national monument."

"Feinstein disputed that she is engaged in a not-in-my-backyard campaign. 'I'm a strong supporter of renewable energy and clean technology -- but it is critical that these projects are built on suitable lands,' she said."

"The area of concern to Feinstein is between the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park, off old Route 66 between Ludlow and Needles. The area includes desert tortoise habitat, wildlife corridors, cactus gardens and the Amboy Crater -- an inactive volcanic crater where portions of the 1959 movie 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' were filmed."

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Published on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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