The Secretary of Interior has set aside 1,000 square miles of public land for solar power generating stations. These stations will involve hundreds of square miles, across the West, of solar panels covering the land like a blanket, or perhaps solar array reflectors distributed across tens of square miles like massive pimples. What is the environmental cost of widespread shading of the fragile arid land ecosystems? What is the asethetic cost? Can anyone doubt that the blanket of panels will blight the landscape? In northern California, where non-coal power is a religious allegiance and requirement for citizenship at any chic gathering, a massive solar panel project now in place has offended and soured support for such power generation. The solar reflector arrays will be no more popular than oil refineries. Then there are the distribution lines. Because the solar power generators will be politically unpopular, they are being located in unpopulated areas, where local opposition can be mowed over. But the electricity they generate must still be transmitted to urban areas where it will be used. Tens of thousands of miles of new power line routes must be mapped, acquired, and developed. Huge swarths of national forests and wilderness areas near suburban districts will be devastated. Protected species and their habitats will be destroyed. Wildlife corridors will be severed. The routes will scar the landscape. They will be as ugly as the blight of solar panels and reflector arrays. Then there is the issue of the cost of solar electricity generation. Solar generating equipment deteriorates quickly; the environmental conditions under which they operate are harsh. Will any of it have more than a ten-year lifespan? You'll have to convince me it will. So maintenance costs and replacement costs will be high, which will require regular increase in rates or subsidies. Solar power is an expensive, ideological vanity policy; the sooner the public becomes upset and opposes it, the better. Nuclear power, anyone? Maybe our legislators should visit, gulp!, France, where 80% of electricity is nuclear generated in standardized, cheap, safe nuclear power plants.