The Sierra Club has drifted pretty far from John Muir’s roots. They signed a deal with Clorox about 10 years ago. I mean it is unclear when exactly because they keep the terms of the deal ultra secret. Anyway the rough outlines of the deal is that Clorox created a “green” cleaning supplies line and the Sierra Club gets a chunk (percentage) of the sales profits from that line. The deal must have obviously been that the Sierra Club get off the companies back about chlorine. So now, when they offer stuff to join for a year, and that stuff is good enough, I join. Other than that I just cost them junk mail fees.
Did you notice that last weekend the largest onshore wind farm in America started operation in north-central Oregon? The 845 MW Shepherds Flat facility will generate an estimated 2 billion kWh each year — enough to power 235,000 homes. On top of that, this clean power will eliminate about 1.5 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually — the equivalent of taking approximately 260,000 cars off the road.
Who built Shepherds Flat? We, the people, did! Caithness Energy relied on more than a billion dollars in loans guaranteed by the Energy Department. With the project up and running, and with a long-term commitment from Southern California Edison to buy power, it looks like a good investment. Maybe that’s why Google also kicked in $100 million.
Shepherds Flat is the kind of project we should be building across the U.S. — or at least in those parts, like the Eastern Columbia River Gorge, with abundant wind resources. Yet the Republican Party opposes even extending the Production Tax Credit that wind power has had for decades. Right now, they would probably sooner move Burning Man to the National Mall than help finance more success stories like Shepherds Flat.
Go there and read. More tomorrow.