U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: April 3, 2009
Public Workshops for Training on Geothermal Energy on Federal Land
Regional Sessions Will Address Benefits of Recently Completed Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to Western States
The public and members of the geothermal industry are encouraged to join the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service at seven regional trainings that are focused on the environmentally sound development of geothermal energy across the western U.S. The seven sessions listed below begin in early April in Denver and end in Salt Lake City in June. They will provide an understanding of the process involved in leasing geothermal resources on federal lands and will describe the benefits of the programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for geothermal energy (www.blm.gov/geothermal_eis) published in October 2008. Each training session will be three hours in length. The project management staff from the PEIS team will be present at all meetings. The trainings are free of charge and do not require registration.
Topics will include applicable laws and regulations, identification of lands open or closed to geothermal development, the nomination and leasing process, and a review of leasing stipulations and best management practices provided in the PEIS and record of decision.
Dates, times and locations of the trainings are as follows:
The record of decision and approved resource management plan amendments for geothermal leasing in the western United States published by the BLM in December 2008 make more than 190 million acres of federal lands available for leasing and potential development of geothermal energy resources. The approved development scenario, which was analyzed in the final programmatic environmental impact statement, anticipates a potential 5,500 megawatts of new electric generation capacity from resources in the 12 western states (including Alaska) by 2015. It also estimates an additional 6,600 megawatts by 2025 for a total of 12,100 megawatts
The Bureau of Land Management manages geothermal leasing on the federal mineral estate, including the 256 million acres of public land whose surface it manages and another 442 million subsurface acres where other federal agencies, such as the Forest Service, manage the surface. A total of 29 geothermal power plants currently operate on Bureau of Land Management lands in California, Nevada and Utah, with a total generating capacity of 1250 megawatts – enough to supply the continuous electric power needs of 1.2 million homes.