Solar energy’s deforestation problem (ft. John Murawski)

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“This year the American Farmland Trust said that expanding solar power could gobble up as much as 3,900 square miles nationwide, and predicted that many Eastern states could lose between 1.5% and 6% of their undeveloped land to solar facilities – mostly on farmland that’s flat, cleared, and near to existing transmission infrastructure. A Princeton University study this year forecast that achieving a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050 could directly impact a cumulative land area the size of Virginia, with forested lands the most directly impacted by solar deployment in Eastern states. In local opposition to solar, big concerns are loss of farmland and harm to animals. The environmental groups that have launched waves of lawsuits and press releases to fight oil and gas pipelines, natural gas fracking activity, and power plant ozone violations have largely been absent on this issue.” — John Murawski, RealClearInvestigations

In Episode 326 of District of Conservation, Gabriella speaks with RealClearInvestigations reporter John Murawski about the largest-planned solar energy facility, thus far, in Virginia and the battle brewing in Charlotte County, Virginia, about the proposed project. Plus, why there are crickets from environmentalists over the methods – including deforestation-  that need to be employed to achieve net-zero goals to get solar energy powering more than 2.8% of U.S. electricity generation. Tune in!

Listen on Apple Podcasts


Real Clear: Solar’s Lofty Ambitions Are Consuming Ever-Larger Expanses of Land Down Below

John Murawski Work

Contact John here and follow him on Twitter

  • Gabriella Hoffman

    Gabriella Hoffman is a Media Strategist and Award-Winning Outdoor Writer. She hosts the "District of Conservation" podcast and CFACT's original YouTube series "Conservation Nation." Learn more about her work at

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