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Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Don’t Let the Feds Make Idaho a Vassal of California

By • March 9, 2023

It’s easy sport for politicians to complain about Washington D.C. After all, D.C. is where so many ill-advised ideas are dreamt up and put into federal law, regulation, or judicial opinion. It’s much more difficult to find examples of federal overreach that everyone can agree on. The Lava Ridge Wind Project, however, is one such example.

Out-of-state financiers and federal regulators plan to move forward with the construction of a massive wind turbine farm. If approved by federal regulators, the Lava Ridge Wind Project will place 400 turbines across 75,000 acres of public land. At full capacity, the Lava Ridge Wind Project would be one of the largest wind farms in the United States—dwarfing nearly all other comparable projects.

The project is being pushed by a New York-based company. Their view is to use Idaho’s lands and natural resources for the benefit of consumers in far-off Malibu or San Francisco, California. That’s right: current Idaho industries that use these public lands — including dairymen, ranchers, farmers, and sportsmen — will have their productive economic activities pushed aside so the 1% can continue living the California life-style, while claiming to be climate change “neutral.”

But the Lava Ridge Wind Project is anything but “neutral.” Pushed forward on a rapid time frame because of an executive order then-President Obama signed, the Lava Ridge Wind Project will reshape the Magic Valley and impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of hardworking Idaho families.

The construction, installation, and ongoing maintenance of the project’s wind turbines will have negative consequences for: the aquifer and groundwater; the sanctity of the Minidoka National Historic Monument; the ability of hotshots and wild land firefighters to suppress wildfires; local roads, bridges, and highways that will see heavy truck traffic but little to no money to repair foreseen damages; biodiversity, migrating birds, and big game species that will be harmed or forced to relocate; local schools and the Magic Valley housing market that will see a sudden influx of out-of-state laborers, many of them without lawful status to work in the U.S.

Worst of all? Magic Valley Residents will endure all of these changes, but citizens of Idaho won’t reap a single benefit: any and all power generated from the project will be sent out-of-state, most likely to the higher utility fee payers in California.

Our people, our lands, and our economy is disrupted so a bunch of folks in Silicon Valley can satisfy the demands of their own silly green energy requirements. No thank you.

Magic Valley residents should applaud the efforts of Idaho Republicans — including our governor and members of our federal delegation and State Legislature — who have raised questions about this project and expressed serious concerns about its impact on the Idaho way of life.

But you must do your part, as well. File a comment with the Bureau of Land Management and the federal government and let them know that Idaho’s land and resources should be for the people of Idaho. This issue can bring all of us — from environmentalists to ranchers — together. Let’s unify to keep the federal government from harming our unique landscape and putting our people’s interests last. Let’s work together to put the Magic Valley and Idaho first.

Dorothy Moon was elected to serve as the chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party in July of 2022. Moon served three terms in the Idaho Legislature as State Representative for District 8. Moon’s career in public service has focused on the advancement of individual liberties and reducing the size and scope of government.


This Op-Ed was submitted by Dorothy Moon. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: BLM, Bureau of Land Management, Carbon Neutral, Climate Change, Lava Ridge Wind Project, Magic Valley, Silicon Valley, Wind Farm

14 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Don’t Let the Feds Make Idaho a Vassal of California

  1. Has anyone promoting this project investigated the long range effects of these monstrous wind turbines? How much oil is in each one (approx 80 gallons). How to dispose of turbine blades when they wear out (approx 20 years). How many birds they kill (current estimate 500,000). What equipment, fuel and oil is needed to even build them?

  2. The wind turbine system as it is currently configured is inefficient. Until we get better technology, traditional energy sources are the only way to go. Public investment in dubious technologies is often an end-run around sound capital investment from the private sector. The private sector expects a new technology to prove itself before investment. Not so for politicians who are looking at their donor base.

  3. Keep California and New York out of Idaho. They have already ruined both coasts with their ideas and now they want to ruin the interior. This cannot be allowed. Tell them to use their own vast lands and leave us alone. California has plenty of land to accommodate this crazy scheme. Leave us alone liberals quit trying to ruin what we have. The love of money is the root of all evil and this scheme has the stink of greed all over it.

  4. Dorothy is correct. What the environmentalists don’t want to admit is that green energy is dirtier than fossil energy-from mining to production, to disposal. Expensive and dirty, completed with human rights violations. Nothing viable is ever going to happen until Idaho owns its land. Nowhere in Art 1 Sec. 8 of the Constitution does it allow this.
    Idaho—Federal acreage: 32,789,648 State acreage: 52,933,120 Federal land: 61.9%

  5. Absolutely unbelievable! What gives any “outsider” the right/guts/b@lls to ask this of our state – go do it in your own state.

    This is why I tell people who move/relocate here is: welcome, just do not bring what you left with you – we want Idaho the way it is.

  6. Let’s not allow wind turbines to be the environmental boondoggle, here in Idaho, like they have become in other western state. Wind farms occupy vast tracks of land, displace wildlife and have been proven to be a poor investment.

    FULL DISACLOSURE: I am a native California transplant and can bear witness to the hollow promise of clean electricity from wind turbines. The windfarms scattered across the parts of the rural California landscape are one of the most inefficient forms of electricity generation in use today.

    Wind turbines are unsightly, inefficient (kilowatt/hour per dollar invested) and DO NOT hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to producing cheaper, cleaner electricity.

    Utility companies that tout wind power know it is inefficient but continue to
    promote it as the best new thing and the only alternative to nuclear power, natural gas and fossil fuel.
    In the five plus decades that Wind turbines have been in operation in western state they proven fatal to countless flocks of migratory birds that travel traditional routes thorough turbine infested areas.
    They occupy space that could be used for more productive enterprises, like traditional farming and ranching and are falsely sold as the most cost- effective method for generating electrical power on a small to medium scale.
    The experience in California and other states proves the folly of wind power.

    Let’s not pollute Idaho’s pristine lands and threaten our wildlife with boondoggle wind farms, transition lines and the massive steel towers that support them. We can do better!

  7. It would be helpful if there were a link to the site where Idahoans can register their disgust with this project with members of the Legislature, etc. who can vote this down…


  9. I support Idaho and their land ! Stay away from their property and put it in CA if your using the energy it produces! I agree though it’s dirtier and more destructive to our country than goss fuels !

  10. Where will these Wind Turbine Systems be manufactured and what is the cost. Idaho would sacrifice greatly for who & for what. Let California handle (in partnership) in their own state. A former California Resident.

  11. I was raised in Idaho and Oregon and my feeling go deep to the place I grew up. What the BLM wants to do in Idaho is a total disgrace to the people, the land, the wild live and the environment. This idea will produce more problems than anyone can imagine. I have not seen or read any studies that makes this project feasible. The idiots in D.C. should have their head examined. These wind turbines should never be erected. Leave the land as is. Let Mother Nature takes its course.

  12. LS Power thinks they can railroad the hay-seed hicks of Southern Idaho and turn Idaho’s public lands into a Wind-Farm ghetto for California.

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