US authorities charged with lawsuit over plans for geothermal energy vegetation

A lawsuit was recently filed over plans to build geothermal power plants in Nevada.

The US government was recently challenged by tribal leaders and conservationists over an attempt to “build two geothermal power plants in the north” Nevadas high desert. ”According to the plaintiffs, the plants would“ destroy sacred hot springs and bring a rare toad to the brink of extinction ”.

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For those who don’t know, geothermal systems are designed to pump water out of the earth to “generate steam to generate electricity”. The deeper the drills dig, the warmer the water. Geothermal energy is often praised by environmentalists because it “produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than plants that burn natural gas or coal”.

The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe. When asked about the suit, the organizations said the works would “transform a pristine and unique place of ecological and spiritual value into an industrial site.” In addition, the lawsuit, filed on December 15, alleges that the “Bureau of Land Management illegally approved Ormat Technologies Inc.’s project in Dixie Meadows, about 100 miles east of Reno, without the required environmental analysis.” In addition, plaintiffs argue that the agency violated the Law Restoring Religious Freedom.

A hearing is currently scheduled for January 4th in the US District Court in Reno to rule on the plaintiff’s motions for an “injunction to temporarily block the first construction works, which Ormat is due to begin on January 6th”.

Dixie Meadows is a rare wetland ecosystem in the middle of a desert. It was formed from natural sources and, according to the lawsuit, is “the home of the Dixie Valley toad that is nowhere else in the world”. Despite plaintiffs’ protests and efforts to list the toad as an endangered species in the United States, the Biden government approved the geothermal plan project last month.

Earlier this year, the Center for Biodiversity won another endangered species list that brought a proposed lithium mine near Reno to a standstill. It is important to note that lithium is a “key component of batteries for electric vehicles, a core part of Biden’s energy strategy.”

Patrick Donnelly, state director of the center’s Nevada office, commented, “We strongly support renewable energies when they are in the right place, but a project like this threatens sacred sites and endangered species is definitely the wrong place. ”

Tribal leader Cathi Tuni also interfered, saying: “The ancestors of Fallon Paiute-Shoshone have lived in the Dixie Valley area for thousands of years and have long recognized the hot springs as a sacred place for healing and reflection.” She added:

“The United States has made repeated promises to honor and protect indigenous holy sites, but then the BLM approved a major construction project on almost our most sacred hot springs. It just feels like more empty words. “


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