Owens Valley Resident Criticizes LA Times’ Support Of LADWP’s Proposed Solar Facility Near Manzanar

On January 2, 2014, the Los Angeles Times published an unsigned editorial in support of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s proposal to build a 1,200-acre solar energy generating facility adjacent to the Manzanar National Historic Site.

You can read their editorial at: A Solar Array Won’t Hurt The Mood At Manzanar.

Daniel Pritchett, an Owens Valley resident, submitted they following response to the Times’ editorial shortly after it was published. However, the Times has apparently chosen not to publish it, so he has submitted it to us for publication.


Daniel Pritchett
(click to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Daniel Pritchett

A recent editorial argued in support of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) proposed two-square mile solar facility adjacent to Manzanar in the middle of one of the most scenic and historic parts of Owens Valley. The editorial asserted that the need for sustainable energy outweighed the objections of the Manzanar Committee. Ignored were objections of Owens Valley Paiutes and virtually everyone else in the Valley.

However unjust the means used by Los Angeles to take over Owens Valley a century ago, it was at least plausible to argue that the city had exhausted its water resources and needed more if its growth were to continue. Today, it cannot be argued that Los Angeles has exhausted its solar resources and has no choice but to go to Owens Valley. DWP’s proposal is simply business as usual: take advantage of Owens Valley. Outsource the impacts and reap the benefits in L.A.

It is sad to see the Times endorsing this outdated and unjust approach to resource management when so many people in Los Angeles realize the status quo must change. Under David Nahai, DWP committed itself to reducing its dependence on imported water, and UCLA just announced a major project (the Grand Challenge Initiative) to find a path for Los Angeles to reach resource sustainability.

That path will not lead through Owens Valley.

Daniel Pritchett has had a long-standing interest in Owens Valley resource issues. Currently the Vice President of the Owens Valley Committee, Pritchett was also the Conservation Chair for the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society for 15 years. He writes from Bishop, California.

The views expressed in this story are those of the author, and are not necessarily those of the Manzanar Committee.


Community members are urged to sign an online petition opposing the LADWP proposal. To view/sign the petition on Change.org, click on: Halt LADWP’s Plan To Build A 1,200-Acre Solar Energy Generating Station Adjacent to Manzanar National Historic Site.

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17 Responses to Owens Valley Resident Criticizes LA Times’ Support Of LADWP’s Proposed Solar Facility Near Manzanar

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