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Environment & Energy Report

BLM Geothermal Leases Can Only Be Extended One Lease at a Time

Sept. 19, 2019, 7:32 PM

Twenty-six unproven geothermal leases in northern California can’t be extended by the BLM for a 40-year period simply because one of the leases in the unit was commercially productive during its lease term, the Ninth Circuit ruled Sept. 19.

The plain language of the Geothermal Steam Act only allows for such long periods of renewal on a lease-by-lease basis, Judge Morgan B. Christen said for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The court’s ruling in favor of an American Indian tribe and environmental groups means those 26 leases that haven’t yet produced steam in commercial quantities are...

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