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Environment & Energy Report

California’s Owens Valley Tapped for Geothermal Energy Leasing

April 23, 2020, 5:11 PM

Geothermal leasing on previously protected federal lands in California’s Owens Valley will move ahead, despite protests from local water districts and environmental groups.

The Bureau of Land Management has approved three geothermal lease applications in the 22,805-acre Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area north of Ridgecrest, Calif., and west of Death Valley National Park, according to a Federal Register notice scheduled to be published Friday.

The approvals amend a desert conservation plan for public lands in California and allow geothermal development on lands that were previously considered environmentally sensitive.

Geothermal power is the least-tapped renewable energy source in the U.S., and a...

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