Energy foes

Nevada's first wind energy project is set to move forward after the California company behind the plan settled a lawsuit last week with ... who else, environmentalists.

The dispute highlights how the true green agenda goes far beyond simply trying to wean us off traditional energy sources as a means of cleaning up the planet. Instead, it's a movement using energy as a proxy in a larger battle against development and economic growth.

Never mind that a $225 million project by Pattern Energy - as with virtually all alternative energy proposals - would never pencil out without taxpayer subsidies and regulatory mandates. The 7,500-acre Spring Valley Wind Farm will supposedly generate 150 megawatts of electricity for NV Energy customers in Northern Nevada beginning this summer. It's precisely the type of development you'd think the environmental lobby would applaud.

But last year, the Western Watershed Project and the Center for Biological Diversity sued, claiming the BLM failed to properly assess the environmental impacts. The groups protested that the turbines could affect bats and sage grouse.

When a judge denied a motion to halt construction, the environmental groups came to the table and agreed to a deal last week under which Pattern will expand its program for tracking bird deaths associated with the project and pay for a study of a nearby cave where bats roost during migration.

But the message was sent, loud and clear

"We are starting to see that all renewable energy projects, no matter how well-planned, are being questioned," Pattern CEO Mike Garland said in a statement.

Indeed. What happened here is no isolated incident. All across the country, so-called green energy projects - solar, wind, geothermal - have been met with resistance and lawsuits by the environmental lobby. And that's because the goal for many professional green agitators isn't promoting "clean energy," it's about crippling economic development by hamstringing this country's energy sector.