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U.S. House of Representatives’ Spending Bill Calls for Lava Ridge Wind Project Plan to be Delayed

By • March 6, 2024

Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), announced in a press release today that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the 1,050 page Consolidated Appropriations Act 2024 which calls for a pause in the implementation of the plan by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the U.S. Department of the Interior to install thousands of wind turbines in southern Idaho.

The Idaho Dispatch brought you details of the proposed project and BLM’s plans here and here.

Found on pages 647-648 of the appropriations bill is the following proposed requirements:

SEC. 441.
(a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be obligated or expended for the purpose of granting, issuing, or renewing a right-of-way under section 501 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1761) for the Lava Ridge Wind Project, unless or until the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, has analyzed, in consultation with local elected officials and stake holders, action alternatives designed to reduce impacts to wildlife, cultural resources, transportation, hunting, wetlands and the connected surface and ground waters. The Secretary shall complete such consultations, and seek feedback regarding action alternatives, not later than September 30, 2024, and no funds made available in this Act shall be used for granting, issuing, or renewing a right-of-way under section 501 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1761) for the Lava Ridge Wind Project while such consultations and efforts are ongoing.

(b) Prior to granting, issuing, or renewing a right-of-way under section 501 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1761) for the Lava Ridge Wind Project, the Secretary shall periodically report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on the status of consultations required under subsection (a) and, once such consultations are complete, provide a briefing to the Committees on the action alternatives and the feedback of local elected officials and stakeholders.”

The Secretary of the Interior mentioned in the bill to be tasked with certain responsibilities relating to the Lava Ridge Project is Secretary Deb Haaland. Her bio describes her as a Native American with a military family background, a small business owner, a single parent who struggled financially for much of her life, a former Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate in New Mexico, and a former Congresswoman.

As stated in the text taken from the bill, Haaland would be required to consult with stakeholders in the matter regarding, among other things, the “cultural resources” of the affected area.

A group known as Friends of Minidoka works to preserve the Minidoka National Historic Site, one area which would be drastically changed by the installation of the wind farm.

The National Park Service describes the historic Minidoka remembrance site,

“During World War II, over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated without due process of law. Although little remains of the barbed-wire fences and tar-papered barracks, the Minidoka concentration camp once held over 13,000 Japanese Americans in the Idaho desert.

Minidoka preserves their legacy and teaches the importance of civil liberties.”

Friends of Minidoka says this of the Lava Ridge Project,

“The proposed Lava Ridge wind project will forever alter Minidoka’s somber landscape and fails to honor the significance of the events that occurred at Minidoka as a place of reflection, healing, and education for the survivors, descendants, and public. The proposed project places 340 towers in the Minidoka NHS viewshed with 12 of those towers on the historic Minidoka footprint. The Minidoka community of survivors and descendants deserve the respect and acknowledgment of this gross violation of civil liberties by our nation’s government through the preservation of the site. The Minidoka story must be recognized and treated in an honorable and somber manner as other painful events in our nation’s history. The proposed Lava Ridge project minimizes the trauma, loss, and humiliation suffered by American citizens based solely on racial discrimination.”

The appropriations bill which has the potential to affect the Lava Ridge Wind Project passed the House on a vote of 339 in favor, 85 opposed. It will now be sent over to the U.S. Senate to be discussed and debated.

Feature photo courtesy of the LA Times
Amazon Outlet

Tags: BLM, Bureau of Land Management, Congressman Mike Simpson, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024, Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Japanese Internment Camp, Lava Ridge Wind Project, Minidoka, Minidoka National Historic Site, Senator Glenneda Zuiderveld, Southern Idaho, The Friends of Minidoka, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. House of Representatives, Wind Farm, WWII

18 thoughts on “U.S. House of Representatives’ Spending Bill Calls for Lava Ridge Wind Project Plan to be Delayed

  1. 1.) If this costs the Tax Payer one penny, drop it.
    2.) If this infringes on Private Property Rights in any manner, drop it.

    1. Our politicians, government employed and the military are the only enemy that has destroyed and bankrupted the USA. It certailny wasn’t Russia, China, North Korea or Iran.

  2. Thank God for stopping this latest abortion of the Biden Admin!!! Stop with these useless things!

  3. I agree with the comments above. I would also add, where is the energy from these windmills headed to? My understanding is that Idaho gets the eyesore of these monstrosities and another state receives all of the energy. So why do all this damage to OUR state WITHOUT the “benefits???” This sounds like a ponsey scheme to me.

  4. Talk about a white wash.
    When the first go around of wind mills come to Idaho it cost us from Idaho Power .09c per KW hr. and Idaho doesn’t even use the power. (what was the real cost)
    If the Idaho politicians actually wanted to stop this just jack up the price for the oversize permit when it leaves the federal highway.

  5. Why DELAY??? STOP IT. It is a monumental fraud on its face. $30 MILLION for each turbine’s construction!!! Back in 2012, when they only cost $2 MILLION each, they NEVER PAID FOR THEMSELVES. They are not a source of reliable energy — if ANY energy. They MUST HAVE RELIABLE BACK-UP. (natural gas or hydro) STOP LAVA RIDGE ALTOGETHER!!!


    1. The American public isn’t paying for the turbines themselves Magic valley energy is but they are going inn public land and I wonder who has been talked to about this project and if they’re from around here. Do they understand our values about about open spaces and clean rivers and responsible development? What is consultation anyway!?! Is someone from Twin Falls in consultation going to have the power to sell this thing?

  6. The delay is a mere hick up to what we all know is an already approved project.
    Going green is killing us and the environment.

  7. I do not agree withone standing wind genorator……anywhere. Most of all this one. This is all for California which makes it even worse!!!!!!!

  8. We know the damage this project can reap on our land, our wildlife and our aquifer. Please be advised it is also capable of hurting ones health and wellbeing in general. STOP IT.

  9. While there’s a lot we don’t understand about this this project it isn’t actually the BLMs. It’s private energy company magic valley energy. If this project is cancelled I bet they’ll just move to building on private property by incentivizing our poor ranchers and farmers to sell out. Then it’s going be a lot like Wyoming and Washington where we get the eyesore and no benefit!?!!!

  10. Stop and ban all wind turbines is Idaho. They are useless, expensive, a huge eye sore and a danger to wildlife. They’re nothing but a scam by the global elites to make billions. And of energy derived from them is being sent out of state, then should be saying HELL NO to further growth of this blight on Idaho’s landscape.

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