Governor Brown Files Legal Brief to Prevent Delay to Major Solar Project, Help State Meet Renewable Energy Goals and Create Green Jobs


SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has filed a brief asking a Federal court to deny the latest in a series of litigious maneuvers intended to prevent the completion of a key solar energy project in the Mojave desert, which is expected to create up to 1,000 construction jobs and produce enough clean energy to power 140,000 California homes.

Governor Brown’s brief follows a lawsuit filed by the Western Watersheds Project in January 2011 against the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and other related parties to block the 370 megawatt Ivanapah solar project due to desert tortoises in the area. Three weeks ago, a Federal judge denied the plaintiffs’ application for a temporary restraining order. The plaintiffs, however, continue to pursue a preliminary injunction to halt the project, which was approved by both state and federal officials.

“California has set a bold course for its march toward reliance on renewable energy and the Ivanpah project is a very important step in this effort,” the brief reads. “California has a strong and demonstrated interest in increasing its renewable energy and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. The Court should take these interests into account, and deny Western Watersheds’ request for a preliminary injunction on the grounds that an injunction is not in the public interest.”

On April 12, 2011, Governor Brown signed SBX1 2, requiring that one-third of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by December 31, 2020.

Governor Brown’s Amicus Curiae Memorandum, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District, can be read in full, here.