Yucca Valley, CA – A coalition of environmental and community groups are celebrating a recent San Bernardino County Superior Court judge’s decision that invalidates Wal-Mart’s environmental impact report (EIR), preventing a supercenter in their community.
Concerned about the massive, 188,000-square-foot supercenter’s greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the preservation of the community’s existing local businesses, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Morongo Basin Property Association brought multiple lawsuits against the town of Yucca Valley for approving Wal-Mart’s EIR. Judge Barry Plotkin spurned the faulty EIR, stating that the retail giant did not take adequate measures to mitigate its contribution to climate change and used a faulty market analysis when claiming the new store would have no negative impact on existing businesses.
Ironically, Wal-Mart has been courting the environmental groups for the past few years with the company’s “green” initiatives, but as Matt Vespa of the Center for Biological Diversity tells the Los Angeles Times, this project is another example of how Wal-Mart is all bark and no bite.
“Wal-Mart has pilot projects to put solar on a very small fraction of their stores,” Vespa said. “And Wal-Mart has claimed for years their aim is 100% renewable power. But for a project in the California desert, outside Joshua Tree National Park, an ideal location for solar, they bent over backwards to avoid it.”