Forecast for Solar: Cloudy

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Solar_energy_power_266094_l.jpgNow that the Bureau of Land Management is deferring solar projects on public land, the forecast for solar energy seems a bit cloudy. What happened?

Just over a year ago, the BLM was actively encouraging solar projects to be shuttled through in a “timely manner.” Then it teamed up with the Department of Energy “to assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with solar energy development.”

So what are the potentially negative environmental impacts of solar installations?

For starters, the BLM has identified these three: energy use and accompanying emissions required for manufacturing plants, hazardous materials used in production, and land use disrupting natural habitats and wildlife. But solar tends to come out favorably when pitted against building, say, another coal plant.

And with all this talk of a recession, why is the BLM trying to stunt an industry that’s creating thousands of new jobs across the country? The 2006-2007 solar installation boom generated 6,000 new jobs and injected $2 billion into the U.S. economy.

The BLM flip-flopping wouldn’t have anything to do with an administration hand protecting traditional energy industries, would it?

—Joyce Tang

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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