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Latest green energy boondoggle shows why the government shouldn't be picking winnersSeptember 10, 2012
Last year BrightSource Energy received a $1.6 billion taxpayer-backed loan guarantee. It's the same type of loan that failed solar panel company Solyndra received but couldn’t pay back, costing taxpayers over $500 million.
BrightSource’s half-completed Ivanpah power station in Eastern Mohave aims to harness the sun’s rays to generate carbon free electricity and “green” jobs and has been touted by some as an exemplary environmental project. But when contractors discovered more desert tortoises than expected, the project earned the ire of environmentalists – and resulted in an expensive translocation program for the tortoises.
The desert tortoise is a remarkable creature. For thousands of years it has lived in the mostly-inhospitable environment of the Sonoran and Mojave deserts, eating the sparse grasses, herbs, shrubs, and early cacti, and escaping the searing 140 degree heat of the day by burrowing underground. But a combination of expanding human habitation, vandalism and capture has contributed to a rapid decline in tortoise numbers since the 1980s. Current estimates put the population at 100,000, making it a “threatened” species according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria.
How much would you be willing to pay to save a single desert tortoise? $1? $10? $100? How about $108,910?
Policy Brief 64June 1, 2007
The recovery of the bald eagle in the lower 48 states is a huge conservation success. But the lion's share of credit for the eagle's recovery should go to the 1972 ban of the pesticide DDT, not the Endangered Species Act, according to a new set of policy briefs by the Reason Foundation.
The Reason Foundation reports also suggest the Endangered Species Act often does more harm than good by pitting landowners against the very animals it is trying to save.
View Resources by Type
- Tortoises and BrightSource Are Costing Taxpayers Dearly
Latest green energy boondoggle shows why the government shouldn't be picking winners
September 10, 2012
- The Politics of Protection
The battles over the Endangered Species Act are all too human.
May 10, 2011
- Is Gassing Wolf Pups Better Than Hunting Their Parents?
Environmentalists force a tough choice in the Northern Rockies.
September 7, 2010
- Invasion of the Invasive Species!
Local biodiversity is increasing.
August 10, 2010
- Sustainability Semantics
John Locke, the U.N., and how to figure out if an acre of land would rather be a swamp or a cornfield
July 6, 2010
- Sea Turtle Tastes Like Veal
Can eating endangered species help save them?
March 9, 2010
- Michigan Shows How to Save Endangered Species
Compensating farmers and working with property owners pays big dividends
July 7, 2008
- Comments on Proposed Permit Regulations for the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
Proposed permit regime puts at risk the very species the Act is supposed to protect
September 3, 2007
- Feds Can Turn Your Land Into a Defacto Federal Wildlife Refuge
Endangered Species Act pits landowners against animals we hope to save
June 26, 2007
- Endangered Species Act Needs Dose of Sanity
Changes encourage property owners to help preservation efforts
October 5, 2005
- Endangered Species Act Turns 30
Results few and far between
Michael De Alessi
December 26, 2003
- Protecting People and Pachyderms
Conservation and commerce work to help wildlife
Michael De Alessi
December 5, 2003
- Elephants, Markets, and Mandates
Protecting endangered species
Michael De Alessi
April 1, 2003
Experts: Endangered Species
- Ronald Bailey
- Shikha Dalmia
- Adrian Moore
Vice President, Policy
RSS Feeds: Endangered Species
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