Letter to the editor: “Inyo County Learned Helplessness Syndrome”

Inyo Sups 2013Inyo County Learned Helplessness Syndrome (ICLHS) is a behavioral disorder which affects Inyo County adults without regard to gender or ethnicity.  Victims experience loss of nerve, the sensation of having no backbone, and feel powerless, especially after learning about actions of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP).

ICLHS was on display last week when the Inyo County Board of Supervisors (BOS) discussed Inyo County’s comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for DWP’s proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch.  Several members of the public urged the BOS to work to oppose the project.  The BOS pointed out that the LA Board of Water and Power Commissioners would make the final decision, asked whether the County zoning could be changed to accommodate the project, and speculated that planting trees might make the project acceptable.  The idea that the BOS could show leadership and try to rally opposition to the project never came up.

With the BOS incapacitated, it is up to individuals to act.  The best way to fight ICLHS and the proposed solar project is to make your voice heard.  If the proposed project becomes a political liability in Los Angeles an alternative will be found.

I suggest sending a letter to Mayor Garcetti and a copy to Mel Levine, the new head of the LA Board of Water and Power Commissioners.  Point out that DWP is reverting to its old trick of shamelessly exploiting Owens Valley.  The project will obliterate almost 60 archaeological sites, at least five rare plant populations, and industrialize one of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.  In addition to violating Inyo County zoning, the project is inconsistent with the goals of the Land Management Plans required under the MOU to the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement.  Mayor Garcetti should be reminded that Los Angeles has plenty of unused sunshine and that Owens Valley has already sacrificed far more than its share for the growth of Los Angeles.  Rather than increasing its dependence on Owens Valley resources, LA should work toward resource self-sufficiency.

If everyone who reads this were to write such a letter, and ask a friend to write such a letter, it could have an effect.  Other industrial solar projects will be proposed in Owens Valley when existing transmission lines are upgraded. If we can’t stop this project, there is little hope of stopping the others.

Daniel Pritchett, Bishop

 

33 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eastern Sierra Local
Eastern Sierra Local
8 years ago

Little known fact unless you’re in the “know”: there’s a solar farm proposal in Coso Junction right now by a private company; they are quietly acquiring easements and rights all over Rose Valley/Coso Junction.

Paddy Hearst
Paddy Hearst
8 years ago

More likely Stockholm Syndrome.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

“The project will obliterate almost 60 archaeological sites, at least five rare plant populations, and industrialize one of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.” WHY IS DWP EXEMPT FROM THE LAWS THAT PROTECT NATIVE SITES AND ENDANGERED NATURAL RESOURCES????? WHY IS DWP ALLOWED TO DO ITS OWN EIR? IT… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

Mongo, I would hammer on the cultural, historic, biological, spiritual and aesthetic points. Those clearly are where your heart is and will sway many people. If you can use your artistic talents to reach LA media and citizens also, much good could come of it.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

Thanks E.D. I was thinking I could re-brand my line “Mongo” instead of using my name as I have in the past and offer my things along 395. My reluctance is in the fact that I have worked very hard and now want to retire to fishing, hunting, exploring, camping,… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago

EIRs are the process by which agencies study the effects they might have on the environment. They are required to do their own EIRs, or contract with someone to do the study for them. If the agency is smart, it will uncover every possible impact and consider and mitigate it… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

RECALL THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND ELECT CUSTODIANS OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND ENVIRONMENT!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_election

The Board of Supervisors can be removed and replaced NOW! It is not the board that is spineless, it is the population of Inyo.

Here is a recent incident in which a recall worked:
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24066168/colorado-senate-president-john-morse-recalled-angela-giron

Ted
Ted
8 years ago

1st and 3rd District Supervisors are up for reelection next year; if you want…start there. But you’ll find nearly every newly elected official that has great plans for “opposition” find reality in the limitations of the office when they get in. Daniel likes to beat up the supervisors with self… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago

Recall the Board of Supervisors for what? They do not approve or deny LADWP projects. Not only that, the Board raised questions about the project as part of the DWP process and DWP hasn’t even approved the project yet. It is a fallacy to say the county does not stand… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

Maj. Tom Boards may pass and repeal laws, generally called ordinances. The article implies that the Inyo County Board of Supervisors is spineless in regard to passing or repealing ordinances when DWP is concerned. This being the case, the board may not be properly representing their constituency and may be… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago

You can’t pass an ordinance to make DWP go away. They own the valley. The article says the board raised objections in the EIR record, which is the process the law provides for addressing these types of projects. The county passed an ordinance on renewable energy, which may yet come… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

The laws are already in place and they need to be enforced instead issuing variance. – Native sites are protected and cant be violated with construction under law. – Native plants and species are protected and can’t be destroyed under law. – Scenic byways and open space is protected and… Read more »

MJA
MJA
8 years ago

I think we need alternative energy and am glad they are not building another coal or nuclear power plant. As for aesthetics,I’ve always found the solar panels at 4 Corners to be interesting if not pleasing to see. Harnessing the power of the Sun appeals to me. = ,

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Why not make Los Angeles more pretty and put the solar panels there?
Inyo is pretty enough.

Sue Hutson
Sue Hutson
8 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Solar panels here and there throughout the eastern sierra are wonderful and I hope to see more of them, but not 2 square miles covering our landscape! LADWP knows and cares so little about our area that they stated they would be kept clean by rainfall! LA is way overdue… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue Hutson

Agree that this is wrong project, but DWP and other utilities do know about this area and how to build and maintain power plants here. To take everything they say as ignorant would be ignorance on our part and counterproductive. As others have pointed out, time is short and arguments… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Solar is good but it’s coal and nuclear power that keeps the lights on

The Aggressive Progressive!
The Aggressive Progressive!
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Yep! and unfortunately those industries have a foot to the neck of the republican party to never vote against them or be subject to face their big money influence with a opposing candidate of the same party. Ask yourself this, Why is that? why does coal and nuclear continue to… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago

But nuclear power provides a steady source of energy without harming the atmosphere, which is the most important imperative of our time. Nuclear power can be managed so that it does not harm the environment, with smart siting, recycling of spent fuel, and common sense disposal. Less lives are loss… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

And put on cost on carbon production through a carbon tax so that we all start making rational choice in regards to the energy sources we use.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

Maj Tom
Google Fukushima and then say “But nuclear power provides a steady source of energy without harming the atmosphere”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster
Here is a map of the fallout.
http://beforeitsnews.com/mediadrop/uploads/2013/38/e589ebb8948f63eb2828ff148cb3f3f394b0f4df.jpg
How about the radiation in the food we are eating right now!
http://beforeitsnews.com/food-and-farming/2013/03/alarming-levels-of-radiation-allowed-in-us-food-fukushima-fallout-video-2450524.html

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

Mongo,

I wouldn’t judge an entire technology by a couple of disasters. If we learn from the disasters, then the technology can be improved.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes, and that’s why we need photovoltaic-solar, thermal-solar, wind farms, trash to energy conversion, hydro-electric and anything else we can think of including squirrels on treadmills. Also, there are methods for producing electricity that are still unthought of. 100 years from now, Solar panels may look that same to people… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

The only sources you mentioned that can keep the lights on at night were wind farms, trash to energy conversion, and hydro-electric. Hydro-electric has Its own environmental issues due to the damming of rivers. The other two can’t come close to competing with Coal, Natural Gas, and Nuclear, so we… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Use solar to heat water and buildings. Heat can be stored and conserved overnight. This reduces use of electricity, coal and petroleum for heating. Use conserved fossil fuels in existing power plants to balance out inconsistent solar and wind electrical generation. Avoid building new fossil fuel plants as we use… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

“Obamas war on coal” God give me strength! And how about Obama’s war on war? That’s costing the defense industry billions. We had two solid wars going when he took office and we had the chance to bomb Libya and Syria and Iran and he just sat there. But if… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Solar panels can charge battery banks that keep the lights on at night. I have been to off grid houses that do this. Why so much disagreement on the subject?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Mono, FYI – we need your real name and city of residence to post a Letter to the Editor.
BK

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I have batteries on my system now. They require maintainance, they are dangerous, and a pain in the butt. If we could store power on a large scale I probably would not suport coal generation, but more importantly we need to find a bunch of West Virginia coal miners another… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Mongo, batteries require mining of metals that causes environmental damage and then the disposal or recycling of the hazardous waste. Energy storage and conservation are key points.

Steve
Steve
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

It is money that keeps the lights on. We have a choice to spend it on coal witch is literally burning the earth. Or solar that dose it’s burning on the sun.

I say let the sun do the burning.

Eastern Sierra Local
Eastern Sierra Local
8 years ago

CEQA and this environmental document isn’t up for “vote” and can’t be “opposed.” CEQA is about full disclosure of a project’s impacts to the Environment. If the City’s environmental document lacks in clearing a project’s impacts then that needs to be pointed out but public opposition can’t stop a project.

The Aggressive Progressive!
The Aggressive Progressive!
8 years ago

Right on Daniel!
Will definitely follow through with your suggestion..

Mayor Eric Garcetti
200 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-0600
[email protected]

Board of Commissioners

Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power
Room 1555-H, 15th Floor
111 North Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012