Can Solar Power Hurt the Environment?
An unusual clash has developed in the environmental movement between forces that are usually allied: advocates of renewable energy and supporters of wildlife habitats. In response to the Bureau of Land Management’s recently approved, large-scale solar projects for the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada, the National Park Service (NPS) has warned that the new solar power plants could cause significant damage to the region. Jon Jarvis, director of the Pacific West Region of the Park Service, asserts that the projects will use large amounts of water to clean and cool the solar panels, will produce air and light pollution and will generate too much noise, thus destroying the delicate desert ecosystem. While there has been no formal response from the BLM, they are conducting an environmental impact report that should be released this fall.
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