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Press Release: Risch Leads Bill to Stop Widely Opposed Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project

By • October 25, 2023

The following press release was sent out by Office of U.S. Senator James E. Risch. Press releases do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch. 

October 25, 2023 — WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch with Senator Mike Crapo, Congressman Mike Simpson, and Congressman Russ Fulcher (all R-Idaho) today introduced the Don’t Develop Obstructive Infrastructure on our Terrain (Don’t DO IT) Act. The Don’t DO IT Act would require the Secretary of the Interior deny any wind or solar energy project proposed on public land that is disapproved of by the State legislature.

Idaho’s State legislature unanimously passed a resolution in March 2023 expressing opposition to the Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project in Southern Idaho, a 370-turbine project spanning 146,000 acres. Among other concerns, the proposed Lava Ridge project would visually compromise the Minidoka National Historic Site, a relocation site where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War Two.

“Idahoans have been loud and clear on Lava Ridge: Don’t DO IT! Yet, the Department of the Interior is still moving full speed ahead,” said Risch. “The Don’t DO IT Act will empower Idaho and other states to prevent the federal government from implementing unwanted, obstructive, and misaligned wind and solar energy projects on public land, like Lava Ridge.”


“Idahoans know what is best for their land and livelihoods,” said Crapo. “Allowing state legislatures to have oversight on new wind and solar projects on federal land means the federal government and its agencies take into consideration the will of the people closest to the project.”


“The Lava Ridge Wind Project has proven to be out of touch with Idahoans,” said Simpson. “Throughout the last year, I have taken significant actions in opposing this project and advocating for Idaho’s best interests. The Don’t DO IT Act is common-sense legislation that puts the people of Idaho first. I will always work to protect Idahoans’ way of life, and I am proud to work with the Idaho Delegation and ensure the Magic Valley is not trampled by this proposal.”


“I appreciate working with Congressman Simpson, Senator Risch, and Senator Crapo to prevent the federal government from trying to run roughshod over the State of Idaho when it comes to energy projects that can’t make it on their own in the market. With my colleagues, I opposed the Lava Ridge Wind Project because it undermined Idahoans’ way of life. I stand with my colleagues and the people of Idaho in supporting the Don’t DO IT Act,” said Fulcher.


“States need to be at the table driving new energy resources, and this legislation will make the federal government more responsive to states’ voices in future energy development. I appreciate Senator Risch’s work on this important bill,” said Idaho Governor Brad Little.


“Senator Risch’s commitment to addressing the concerns of many Idahoans potentially impacted by huge infrastructure projects on public land is commendable. His willingness to stand up to the Federal Government is a testament to his dedication to public service and understanding that decisions regarding public lands in Idaho should be made in Idaho, not Washington D.C,” said Seth Grigg, Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Counties.

In May, Risch questioned Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about the Lava Ridge project. Secretary Haaland was unable to answer basic questions about the project, including the significance of the Minidoka National Historic Site and how the Lava Ridge project would drastically impair the site’s surrounding landscape, but claimed the Agency listens to people and gets their input. Risch outlined the widespread and bipartisan list of critics who have said “don’t do it” regarding the project, including:

Idaho BLM’s Resource Advisory Council; Seven Idaho counties in the surrounding area; The Friends of Minidoka; The broader Japanese American community; Senator Risch, Governor Little, Lieutenant Governor Bedke, and the entire Idaho delegation; and Thousands of everyday Idahoans, including farmers, ranchers, sportsmen, and more.

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Tags: Don’t Develop Obstructive Infrastructure on our Terrain, Don’t DO IT Act, Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Counties, Governor Little, Idaho BLM’s Resource Advisory Council, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Japanese Internment Camp, Lava Ridge, Lava Ridge Wind Project, Lieutenant Governor Bedke, Minidoka National Historic Site, Senator Risch, Seth Grigg, The Friends of Minidoka, World War Two

12 thoughts on “Press Release: Risch Leads Bill to Stop Widely Opposed Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project

  1. Thank you senator Risch for taking this action. We dont want to see any
    more of these behemoth monsters obliterating the landscape, especially in
    Idaho, and especially if the power is to be exported out of state. The ‘recipient
    of the power can place the site in their own state.

  2. Thank you for listening to the people of Idaho and taking steps to help protect our beautiful lands, wildlife and way of life. I pray that this passes and becomes law. Keep up the fight for Idaho.

  3. Thanks to all of our Senators and Congressmen who are protecting Idaho from federal abuses. Keep up the good work.

  4. Wind power(and solar) are both boondoggles and expensive solutions for a non-problem. Dr. John F. Clauser, joint recipient of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, has criticized the climate emergency narrative calling it “a dangerous corruption of science that threatens the world’s economy and the well-being of billions of people.” Also, why is it that countries and US States that have hitched their wagons to solar and wind power have the highest $/KWH rates in the world and US? Stop this Bidumb boondoggle before they screwup our stat too. If we want to be energy independent in ID, we would be a lot wiser to go with modern nuclear power units.

  5. In addition to the extreme cost of the projects, the inability to recycle the materials leads to a massive increase in landfill space requirements. The blades on these things are difficult to repair and are easily damaged. One major factor the industry has gone to great lengths to avoid discussing is the large number of birds killed by windfarms. One estimate I saw about six months ago placed US depredation of birds in excess of 840K. I don’t know if that’s true but even if it half that number, it’s not acceptable.

  6. Idaho with Idaho Labs and innovative nuclear projects being build in the Eastern Idaho area, Idaho taking a leadership position in next generation cleaner nuclear. The irony of placing ineffective windmill monstrosities in the same region only to export that power to blue-state sh*t-holes is truly twisted. No solar farms. No wind farms. If they want to destroy their states, let them do it. Between clean hydro and nuclear, Idaho has all the energy resources it needs… no reason to whore out our land to keep some liberal jackass’ delusions going.

  7. ~All power generated will be transmitted to CA via Great Basin Transmission line.
    ~Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, and other raptors are directly threatened:
    ~Human health issues due to exposure to infrasound, low-freq noise, and vibrations:
    ~All electricity generated will be sent to California
    ~Economic benefits will all but evaporate after the construction phase is complete.
    – USG, take care of your own backyard, WDC, and stay out of ours!

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