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U.S. Court of Appeals rejects bid to block geothermal power plant in Nevada | Business News

Reno, Nevada (AP) -U.S. Court of Appeals says environmentalists and Nevada tribes harm endangered frogs and destroy sacred hot springs, geothermal power generation I rejected the bid to stop the construction of the place.

On Monday, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals refused to revive a provisional injunction that would temporarily suspend work on the Ormat Nevada project, 100 miles (161 km) east of Reno. The plant produces carbon-free electricity by pumping hot water from beneath the earth.

After hearing oral arguments about the appeal, a committee of three judges concluded that if the project was further delayed, Ormat would not be able to meet the contract deadline to complete the construction by the end of this year.

Ormat said that if the deadline is not met, it will cost $ 30 million over 20 years and could endanger the entire project approved by the US Land Management Authority in November.

The San Francisco-based panel said, “Beyond the economic loss to Omat, the district court has a’carbon-free base load source of electricity’, loyalty returns to the federal government, and public interest in state and local taxes. Considered appropriately. Will be collected as a result of the project. “

In a rare move in April, the US Department of Fish and Wildlife declared that the Dixie Valley toad was endangered in a temporary emergency. Geothermal power plant operations have warned that frogs could be endangered by drying the wetlands around hot springs near the only known construction site in the world.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said it could not consider a list of spotted toads (a quarter of the size) under the Endangered Species Act because it occurred after the appeal was filed in January.

Conflict spotlights some Challenges facing the Biden administration It is driving the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and is trying to reach its goal of running the US power grid on clean energy by 2035.

However, the court battle continues in the US District Court in Reno, and the Biodiversity Center and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe last month amended the original proceedings to include the list. This is the second time in 20 years that the Department of Fish and Wildlife has listed species in an emergency.

Ormat’s Vice President Paul Thomsen said in a statement Monday that he was pleased with the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because “in this case, the plaintiffs realized that the case was unlikely to succeed.”

Ormat’s plant uses heat from geothermal fluids extracted from deep underground reservoirs near hot springs that Native Americans have worshiped for thousands of years to generate electricity.

The opposition proceedings violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by restricting access to the site, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act because the Land Management Department did not complete an environmental impact statement on potential impacts. Said that he violated. More than the environmental assessment it produced.

However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said lower court judges were right about postponing the expertise of BLM scientists who concluded that appropriate safeguards were in place.

“The court cannot replace a government decision with its own,” the Court of Appeals said.

The officially approved plan “addresses unexpected effects and imposes meaningful mitigation measures as needed,” the ruling said. “BLM did not have to mitigate the effects to zero.”

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U.S. Court of Appeals rejects bid to block geothermal power plant in Nevada | Business News

Source link U.S. Court of Appeals rejects bid to block geothermal power plant in Nevada | Business News

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