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Surprising Adversaries: Solar Power Advocates vs. Environmentalists

Steve Scher
02/26/2009 at 10:00 a.m.

Green groups are in a fight over solar power projects in the desert. Are they stifling progress? Environmentalists say big projects are not the answer. They say smaller, scattered solar projects empower more people and create independence. But power advocates argue that we've got to go big – that the U.S. will actually reduce its oil consumption only by scaling up renewable energy. We talk to both sides of this solar showdown. What does it mean for the future of solar power, and how will it affect Washington State? It's Weekday.


Onell Soto reports on energy issues for the San Diego Union–Tribune. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for national reporting.

Ileene Anderson is a biologist and public lands desert director at the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center recently petitioned the California Supreme Court to review the approval of the Sunrise Transmission Project by the California Public Utilities Commission. Ileene has served as an expert witness in the Sunrise case.

Pamela Burton is President of Solar Washington, American Solar Energy Society Washington chapter. She also runs the company Puget Sound Solar installing solar hot water systems and solar electric systems.

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