Turn Old Mines into Renewable Energy Hubs


Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Let old mines be converted into renewable energy power plants.

Mines up and down California could quickly become centers for clean, sustainable wind and solar energy production, if legislation working its way through the state’s capitol becomes law. This would be an extremely effective use of otherwise available land. Demand that Governor Jerry Brown sign this legislation into law when it arrives on his desk.

Tens of thousands of acres of surface land in California are going unused while mining operations are conducted underground. Many of these acres are in open desert, making them perfect for wind and solar energy production. Unfortunately, the companies that own these mining lands lack economic incentive to install clean energy facilities on them, and therefore refuse to do so.

This is because in order to install wind and solar farms above their mines, the companies have to undergo state reviews assessing the impact of such facilities on the land—lengthy and in-depth processes that they already had to successfully pass to get their mines approved in the first place. A new bill being discussed in the state legislature would waive these redundant reviews for solar and wind energy installation on the lands where functional and defunct mining operations already take place, opening up large swaths of land to clean energy production.

This progressive proposal is a win-win: it would satisfy demand for clean energy while simultaneously keeping as much of that production on already-disturbed land as possible. Sign the petition below to urge Governor Brown to sign this legislation into law and ensure that already disturbed mining lands are converted into sustainable wind and solar energy farms.


Dear Governor Brown,

I am writing you today regarding Assembly Bill 1034, a proposal currently working its way through the state legislature that will, in all likelihood, arrive on your desk in the near future. I would like to take the time to urge you to sign it into law when that happens.

Assembly Bill 1034 is one of those common sense bills that somehow both environmental organizations and traditional industries agree on. It would waive the need for mining companies to conduct a second California Environmental Quality Assessment—an environmental review that they already had to conduct to get their mines approved in the first place—before installing wind and solar energy terminals on the surface land their mines are operating under.

This would be a very effective use of space, and would help prevent pristine, untouched lands from needing to be disturbed in the future for clean energy development and production. The proposal makes a lot of sense, and will help make California an environmentally-sustainable energy state in the future. I urge you to sign Assembly Bill 1034 into law when it arrives on your desk.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: USAF via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:

    Worth checking into the “earth impact statements.”

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