Magic Valley officials request Idaho Governor and Attorney General adopt a “no build option” for Lava Ridge Wind Project
An overwhelming number of people expressed concerns to lawmakers on Wednesday during a public hearing
BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — An effort to stop the construction of 400 wind turbines on public land in the Magic Valley, is heading to the House floor, after passing through the House Resources and Conservation Committee
House Concurrent Resolution 4 is being sponsored by Magic Valley lawmakers, and the legislation is asking the Idaho Governor and Attorney General to take what legal actions are available, to encourage the Bureau of Land Management to select a “no build option” on the Lava Ridge project.
The legislation states the energy created by the Lava Ridge Project is designed and planned to provide energy to Southern Nevada and California. However, Nevada and California have tremendous open space that could accommodate the project and more directly move the impacts to the beneficiaries
An overwhelming number of people expressed concerns to lawmakers on Wednesday during a public hearing in the House Resources and Conservation Committee, stating that the project could have a detrimental impact on the areas roads, wildlife, water resources, and the local economy.
“I have never seen a more diverse group come together against something as long as I have been involved in public service,” said Twin Falls County Commissioner Don Hall.
One major concern brought up was the impact the project could have on the local housing market. According to the legislation, the Magic Valley currently has a shortage of housing, available workforce, and construction capacity. Those in opposition are concerned the Lava Ridge project could have a “boom-bust” effect on the Magic Valley economy ,as Magic Valley Energy estimates the project would create 700 jobs during its two year construction period. That would be scaled down to 20 jobs once the project is completed.
“Well, here is instant demand for two years for housing, and when they leave in two years what do think is going to happen (housing market),” said Rep. Jack Nelsen
Currently, there is an application pending before the Bureau of Land Management to approve the placement of the wind turbines in Jerome, Lincoln, and Minidoka Counties.
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