Sunday, August 07, 2022

Life is full of tradeoffs: Adding geothermal power could hurt the environment

See US Appeals Court Denies Bid to Block Nevada Geothermal Plant: A federal appeals court has rejected a bid by environmentalists and a Nevada tribe to halt construction of a geothermal power plant that opponents say would harm an endangered toad and destroy sacred hot springs by SCOTT SONNER of the Associated Press. Excerpts:

"The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused on Monday to reinstate a preliminary injunction that temporarily suspended work on Ormat Nevada’s project 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Reno that would generate carbon-free power by pumping hot water from beneath the earth.

A three-judge panel that heard oral arguments on the appeal last month concluded further delay of the project would make it “all but certain” Ormat would be unable to meet a contract deadline to complete construction by the end of this year.

Ormat said failure to meet the deadline would cost the company $30 million over 20 years and could jeopardize the entire project.

“Beyond the economic losses to Ormat,” the appellate court said, “the district court properly considered the public interest in a ‘source of carbon-free baseload electricity,’ royalty returns to the federal government, and state and local taxes which would be collected as a result of the project.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Dixie Valley toad endangered on a temporary emergency basis in April, warning the operation of the geothermal plant near the toad's habitat could lead to its extinction."

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