Public Has Chance To Learn About Proposed Solar Project On BLM Land Near Safford

Public Has Chance To Learn About Proposed Solar Project On BLM Land Near Safford

By Terri Jo Neff |

An application to utilize roughly 10,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Mangement (BLM) near Safford for a solar energy project will be the subject of a virtual public information forum later this month.

A right-of-way application has been submitted by IP Land Holdings LLC for its proposed Hopper Renewable Project to be located in the San Simon Valley, about 20 miles south of Safford. The project calls for construction and operation of a 1,000 megawatt solar generation facility entirely located on BLM-managed land in Graham County. The proposal also includes a generation tie-in transmission line.

A Zoom-based public meeting is set for Aug. 17 starting at 5 p.m. and will run about 90 minutes, including an introduction by BLM staff followed by presentations from company officials.

IP Land Holdings is wholly owned by IP Renewable Energy Holdings LLC, a Delaware corporation with operations in multiple states. But for Hopper Renewable Project to move forward it needs to be granted a right-of-way to build on BLM land. It also needs a solar variance because the land involved is outside of a BLM designated Solar Energy Zone (SEZ).

Suchright-of-way applications for utility-scale solar energy development are considered by BLM on a case-by-case basis. Among the considerations are environmental impacts, public comment, and coordination with appropriate federal, state, tribal and local agencies, according to BLM.

Input from the public and other stakeholders will be used by BLM officials to determine whether the company’s application should be denied or allowed to continue to the National Environmental Policy Act planning process. If the application moves forward, there will be additional opportunities for public involvement, according to BLM.

Projects like the one proposed for the San Simon Valley fall under the Congressionally-approved Energy Act of 2020 to promote approval of 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025. 

Last December, BLM auctioned utility-scale solar energy development leases in each of Arizona’s three solar energy zones (SEZs). The development from the resulting leases and right-of-way could produce as much as 825 megawatts of solar energy.

Heliogen, Inc. placed the high bid of $114,428 for a lease in the 3,348-acreBrenda SEZ near Lake Havasu City, while Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC placed a high bid of $78,728 for a lease in the 2,560-acre Agua Caliente SEZ east of Yuma.

There were no bids for the lease of the 2,618-acre Gillespie SEZ southwest of Phoenix, so BLM made the lands available for application by a non-competitive grant. This resulted in a solar energy right-of-way application being accepted for that zone from Candela Renewables.

The SEZs were previously analyzed and designated a decade ago after stakeholder involvement, including conservation organizations, state and local governments, Tribes, solar energy industry representatives, and cooperating Federal agencies.

BLM must conduct environmental reviews of all site-specific proposals before any company can proceed with development.

Those interested in viewing and/or participating in the upcoming Zoom meeting about Hopper Renewable Project need to enter Passcode 08172022. The meeting will be recorded and posted soon after on the BLM Arizona YouTube channel.  

In addition, interested parties may submit comments until Sept. 17 via email to BLM_AZ_SFO_Solar@blm.gov or by mail to BLM Safford Field Office, Attn: Ron Peru, 711 S 14th Avenue, Safford, AZ 85546.  Be aware that personal identifying information such as name, address, phone number, and email address may be made publicly available.

BLM’s Failure Is a Blessing in Disguise

BLM’s Failure Is a Blessing in Disguise

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

I don’t know about you, but the first time I heard the slogan “Black Lives Matter” I thought it was, well…curious. Whoever said otherwise these days? Wasn’t that obvious?

I soon discovered the depths of my naïveté. The tip-off was realizing that “All Lives Matter” was not a more inclusive iteration of the same concept, but its opposite—racist fighting words. People were vilified and fired for saying them.

It turned out that BLM was a “social justice” organization focused primarily on “intervening in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes,” i.e. police.

But this wasn’t your typical well-intentioned social advocacy group. Its founders were Marxist activists. BLM’s goals included not only stirring racial violence, but destruction of the nuclear family and eliminating capitalism.

BLM started as a loose confederation of underfunded organizers. But their fortunes changed after George Floyd’s death in 2020. Suddenly, radical racism became a lucrative business. Over $90 million came pouring in, even though BLM did no solicitation and was not even IRS qualified to receive it.

BLM became wildly popular. Its tenets became influential in crafting Democratic party policy. Corporate executives, ever vigilant to burnish their woke credentials, praised it and donated lavishly. Sports teams stitched BLM onto their uniforms.

BLM initially parked the money with sister organizations who had IRS certification. After BLM’s nonprofit status was established, $66.5 million was immediately transferred into its account.

Here’s where the story gets murky. BLM cofounder Patrisse Cullors issued an “impact report” in February 2021, claiming operating expenses of $8.4 million and $21.7 million in grants to local affiliates, but no further detail was provided. The rest of the funding was unaccounted for. Moreover, BLM has yet to file their IRS annual report required last November.

Meanwhile, Cullors resigned last May amid reports that, absent any other known sources of income, she had purchased millions of dollars in prime real estate. The two activists she appointed to assume the helm of BLM declined the offer.

The worm had turned. Charity Watch described BLM as a “ghost ship full of treasure with no captain, no crew no and no clear direction.” Other philanthropy watchdogs also withdrew their endorsements.

Washington and California ordered BLM to cease fundraising and Amazon kicked BLM off its charity platform. Antagonizing California, Washington, and Amazon had to be unprecedented for a radical leftist outfit!

The BLM scam, wasting the funds, was actually a good thing. According to the website Candid, nonprofits devoted to “racial equity” raised $25 billion total post-George Floyd. Yet the “accomplishments” of these groups have been demonstrably harmful to blacks.

Their main policy goal was to “defund the police,” the prime cause of the everyday genocide purportedly inflicted on young black men. That didn’t turn out well.

In 2019, 7,777 Blacks  were murdered, 53% of all homicide victims. After the “defund the police” movement succeeded in jurisdictions across the country, 9,941 blacks were murdered the next year, indicating 2,000 lives were lost due to a failed ideology.

Blacks are repeatedly informed that thousands of unarmed black victims are killed by police each year, but the numbers tell a different story. As Heather Mac Donald points out, in 2019, the year 7,777 blacks were killed, police accidentally shot a total of nine unarmed blacks, one for each of the 800 murder victims. Decimating and denigrating the thin blue line was a tragic mistake, especially for Blacks themselves.

BLM can’t be reformed because it is based on the concept that there is social good in driving the races apart, since one is inherently predisposed to oppressing the other. Media and academic elites, playing upon the historical realities of black victimhood and white guilt, insist racism is deeply ingrained in American culture, the core influence in our history.

Americans must decide. Do we concede the future of permanent tribalism advanced by BLM, the 1619 Project, and Critical Race Theory?

Or do we still believe in the vision of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and MLK that Americans can achieve another historic first. We can establish a multi-racial society where race really doesn’t matter and we all share the Dream of living united as Americans.

Gallego Falsely Accused Trump of Using Park Police to Clear Protesters For Photo-Op, DOI Report Reveals

Gallego Falsely Accused Trump of Using Park Police to Clear Protesters For Photo-Op, DOI Report Reveals

By Corinne Murdock |

Representative Ruben Gallego’s (D-AZ-07) falsely accused previous President Donald Trump of using police to clear protesters for a photo op last June, per the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) final report. Gallego wasn’t the only one – he rode the same bandwagon as many of the mainstream media outlets. The DOI published their report on Wednesday.

According to the report, officers were attempting to install more fencing to guard against the onslaught of Black Lives Matter (BLM) rioters. Their attempts to clear the protesters had no connection to Trump’s visit. In fact, the report says, officers began clearing the area hours before they knew of Trump’s visit.

DOI Inspector General (IG) Mark Lee Greenblatt issued a press release accompanying the report. Greenblatt clarified that this report would be “the first of a number of projects” to examine all that occurred from an operational perspective the day of the incident, June 1. Those projects would assess how the U.S. Park Police (USPP) and other law enforcement decided to clear the park and acted upon those plans.

“The evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing in response to the destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that occurred on May 30 and 31,” said Greenblatt, in reference to the BLM riots over George Floyd’s death on those days. “Moreover, the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day. As such, we determined that the evidence did not support a finding that USPP cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park.” (emphasis added)

Greenblatt acknowledged that officers did fail to provide “loud enough” dispersal warnings and exit directions to the protesters. He added that individual use-of-force incidents are subject to separate investigations and ongoing lawsuits.

It is unclear why it took a year and several days to complete this report.

Following the Congressional hearing about the incident last July, reporters asked Gallego if the hearing offered more transparency or left him with more questions. Gallego was confident that Trump attacked the protestors purposefully and accused him of pushing “one big cover-up” onto the public.

“I’m not confused at all – to be honest, I actually feel even more satisfied to know that this was a preplanned operation to incite violence and to initiate violence against peaceful protesters in order for the President to have his photo op,” said Gallego.

Later, during the Congressional hearing, Gallego also accused officers and officials testifying of telling “lies and excuses.” In a Facebook and Twitter posting, Gallego is seen in a video accusing USPP Acting Chief Gregory Monahan of attacking peaceful protesters. Monahan responded repeatedly that officers had based their response on the level of violence that had been occurring.

“U.S. Park Police’s actions in Lafayette Square on June 1 were unprofessional and unconstitutional. I would never have been permitted to behave that way with civilians when serving in Iraq – particularly for a photo op,” wrote Gallego. “Today’s testimony was full of lies and excuses. We need accountability.”


https://www.facebook.com/RepRubenGallego/videos/2341327116173701/

Gallego has yet to issue a response concerning his false accusation.

Corinne Murdock is a contributing reporter for AZ Free News. In her free time, she works on her books and podcasts. Follow her on Twitter, @CorinneMurdock or email tips to corinnejournalist@gmail.com.