Renewable Energy

Everything we do has an impact, and utility-scale renewable energy development is no exception. Wind farms, solar power facilities, and geothermal energy developments share some of the same characteristics that make up the visible “footprint” of oil and gas drilling: access roads, utility corridors, equipment staging/storage. Of course, these renewable energy projects are a lot lighter in impacts that we can’t see so easily, like air and water pollution and contribution to global warming.

Geothermal energy development at The Geysers, California

We present these images to illustrate that any big energy project has an environmental cost, and that all energy-development projects should be subject to the same level of scrutiny and public review. Maybe our top priority should be to fully exploit energy efficiency – a vast, untapped resource that yields immediate and perpetual dividends – before we rush to approve a host of industrial, utility-scale renewable projects on public lands and waters.