BLM Attempts to Sway Idahoans on Lava Ridge Wind Project
The pessimists claim there’s nothing we can do. They tell us the federal Bureau of Land Management doesn’t need our permission to site windfarms on BLM land in Southern Idaho. Public opposition did drive the decision to cancel plans for a similar project in Nevada. The company behind the Nevada effort is now proposing the Taurus project in Gooding County.
BLM hosted a tour of the proposed Lava Ridge site. It attracted about 50 people who had the time to spend a day touring the massive footprint. Lava Ridge would cover portions of Jerome, Lincoln, and Minidoka Counties. Wednesday's event allowed government engineers and scientists an opportunity to explain the impact and any possible benefits.
I wasn’t able to attend but some members of my radio audience sent me photographs and updates. It appears everyone involved was polite and quite willing to keep an open mind.
If the feedback I receive is any indication, people are polite but remain firm in overwhelming opposition. If you’re an optimist, you look at the Nevada example and realize the little guy could win in Idaho too.
A lot has changed when it comes to the placement of wind projects over the last decade. People are asking a lot more questions. They base this on the experiences people have in other parts of the country. Throw in the Texas debacle and the public no longer trusts faddish energy policy. If supporters of the projects believed the high cost of fossil fuels would soften opposition, I think they miscalculated. People realize traditional fuels are more reliable and a lot more economical when the government doesn’t put up roadblocks.