A revision to our energy future

 

Last week, environmentalists settled an agreement with federal agencies over a Bush-era energy management plan,  and a U.S. District Court in San Francisco is set to sign off on the agreement. Plaintiffs, including the Center for Biological Diversity, had sued federal agencies over a proposed energy pipeline and power network, part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which prescribed a network of oil, gas, hydrogen and electricity lines across federal lands in 11 Western states known as the West-wide Energy Corridor. That network intended to guide the future of energy development and distribution corridors. Environmentalists objected to the plan’s favoritism toward coal or other fossil-fuel power sources, saying it ignored  the potential to connect solar, wind or geothermal plants to the grid. And to make matters worse, some of the planned energy corridors also trampled  over important fossil grounds.

Now, an interagency working group will review existing corridor plans and potentially draw new ones that take into account environmental impacts and potential for renewable energy production. Through the agreement, federal agencies, including the Forest Service, BLM and Department of Energy must ensure that environmental assessments on corridors are completed and that the public is involved -- requirements that were absent from the original Act. This is a map of the proposed corridors

The original corridor map would have affected national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, proposed wilderness and threatened or endangered species habitat across the West.

One such area, Senator Harry Reid’s newly proposed Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument, had the potential for more power lines and pipelines to run through the 23,000-acre area. Proponents for the new monument hope that the corridor agreement will prevent Nevada Energy from building any more power lines near the delicate landscape. Other sensitive places, like Arches National Park and a corridor in Washington that crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, might also benefit from the higher level of environmental review.

Federal agencies will have a year to review their existing corridors to decide whether they need revision. From there, they’ll be responsible for periodic reviews to decide whether to revise, delete or add new corridors.

Map provided by Argonne National Laboratory.

Neil LaRubbio is an intern at High Country News.

High Country News Classifieds
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM MANAGER
    Associate Program Manager ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our State Parks thrive. From redwood groves and desert springs...
  • ATTORNEY AD
    Criminal Defense, Code Enforcement, Water Rights, Mental Health Defense, Resentencing.
  • LUNATEC HYDRATION SPRAY BOTTLE
    A must for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cools, cleans and hydrates with mist, stream and shower patterns. Hundreds of uses.
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • FREE RANGE BISON AVAILABLE
    Hard grass raised bison available in east Montana. You harvest or possible deliver quartered carcass to your butcher or cut/wrapped pickup. Contact Crazy Woman Bison...
  • CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE - OKANOGAN LAND TRUST (NORTH CENTRAL WA)
    Do you enjoy rural living, wild places, and the chance to work with many different kinds of people and accomplish big conservation outcomes? Do you...
  • CARDIGAN WELSH CORGIS
    10 adorable, healthy puppies for sale. 4 males and 6 females. DM and PRA clear. Excellent pedigree from champion lineage. One Red Brindle male. The...
  • A CHILDREN'S BOOK FOR THE CLIMATE CRISIS!!
    "Goodnight Fossil Fuels!" is a an engaging, beautiful, factual and somewhat silly picture book by a climate scientist and a climate artist, both based in...
  • DIGITAL ADVOCACY & MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    The Digital Advocacy & Membership Manager will be responsible for creating and delivering compelling, engaging digital content to Guardians members, email activists, and social media...
  • DIGITAL OUTREACH COORDINATOR, ARIZONA
    Job Title: Digital Outreach Coordinator, Arizona Position Location: Phoenix or Tucson, AZ Status: Salaried Job ID Number: 52198 We are looking for you! We are...
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Deschutes Land Trust is seeking an experienced Volunteer Program Manager to join its dedicated team! Deschutes Land Trust conserves and cares for the lands...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our team. We're looking for a great communicator who is passionate about conservation and...
  • INDIAN COUNTRY FELLOWSHIP
    Western Leaders Network is accepting applications for its paid, part-time, 6-month fellowship. Mentorship, training, and engaging tribal leaders in advancing conservation initiatives and climate policy....
  • MULESHOE RANCH PRESERVE MANAGER
    The Muleshoe Ranch Preserve Manager develops, manages, and advances conservation programs, plans and methods for large-scale geographic areas. The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (MRCMA)...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more...
  • ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    Assistant or Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities Whitman College The Environmental Humanities Program at Whitman College seeks candidates for a tenure-track position beginning August 2023...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) in Crested Butte, CO is seeking an enthusiastic Executive Director who is passionate about the public lands, natural waters and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with volunteer management experience to join...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The conservation non-profit Invasive Species Action Network seeks an executive director. We are focused on preventing the human-caused spread of invasive species by promoting voluntary...