Public Comment Needed on West Wide Energy Corridors

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Background

As American energy needs evolve, increase, and shift to include cleaner sources, it is critical that the transmission lines connecting our communities to energy sources are sited to avoid unnecessary impacts. The West-Wide Energy Corridor project is a plan for the placement of future electricity transmission lines as well as oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines on public lands across 11 Western states.

The process began in 2005, and the decision was challenged in 2009 for various reasons including insufficient public participation and on-the-ground considerations. The resulting settlement requires that corridors avoid environmentally sensitive areas to the maximum extent possible and reduce the number of the rights-of-way crossing the landscape. It also requires a more open public process to fully identify the environmental impacts of the corridors. The public review process for the remaining corridors in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and California is underway.

There was a recent public comment period and an upcoming public meeting in June 4thin the Reno, NV area.  We NEED your voices to help refine and improve the current proposals.

Our Concerns for Corridor 18-23

The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership signed on to the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Inyo comment letters in April requesting that corridor 18-23 be eliminated. As currently drawn, Corridor 18-23 would run from Ridgecrest to Yerington through the Owens Valley in California and east of the Bodie Hills in Nevada. The proposed corridor would follow an existing transmission line from CA Highway 167, through Alkali Valley, between Mt. Hicks in the Wassuk Range and Aurora Peak/Aurora Crater, through Mud Springs, and on to Yerington.

Along its route, the corridor would pass through lands designated as areas of critical environmental concern, the new Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, and areas with wilderness characteristics. It would also cross Bi-State Sage Grouse habitat, including the Mt. Grant Population Management Unit and areas actively used by the sage grouse during winter and breeding seasons. It also would cut through areas where pronghorn winter and cross over to the Bodie Hills.

Adding more transmission lines and roads in this sensitive area would no doubt impact wildlife in this remote area. More transmission towers would also provide permanent perches and nesting places for raven and raptors, making it easier for them to raid the eggs of Sage Grouse. one of the main reasons for the decline of the birds.

For more information: http://corridoreis.anl.gov

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