The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Bechtel’s Solar Energy Damages the Environment

Nov 22, 2010

The largest solar energy plant in the world is currently under construction in the Mojave Desert, California. It is the first of nine such plants planned.

Of course, “clean energy” is a good idea–we already live with too much pollution. But this version of “clean energy” will actually damage the environment. To produce electricity, the plants will use sunlight to boil water. If this project is completed, the plants will suck millions of gallons of water from California’s arid land, which is already short of water.

The electricity produced by these plants will be much more expensive too, three times as expensive.

Why, then, build these plants in the first place? Because it’s another way for the government to hand billions of dollars to corporations like Bechtel, which is building the plant, and Morgan Stanley, the bank organizing investment in the project.

For the first plant alone, the U.S. Department of Energy will underwrite 1.4 billion dollars in loans, and the Treasury Department will grant 500 million dollars in cash. And that’s just for the construction. When these plants start producing electricity, the energy companies will be allowed to pass the inflated electricity costs on to consumers while the companies continue to get tax breaks.

In the hands of capitalists and their government, “saving the environment” turns out to be a scheme to rob working people.