Natural hot springs signal the presence of geothermal resources underground.



In the geologic past, subterranean heat shaped Idaho's landscape by driving volcanic activity.  Today, this same heat can drive turbines to produce electric power or directly heat buildings and other facilities.

Geothermal energy is renewable and produces less than a quarter-pound of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated.  By comparison, natural gas - the cleanest fossil fuel - emits 1.3 lbs/kWH and coal more than 2 lbs/kWh.

The BLM administers leasing of all Federal geothermal resources under regulations for competitive leasing published in 2007.  A 2008 programmatic environmental impact statement identifies which Federal lands are open for geothermal leasing and development.

Proposals to develop any Federal geothermal resources are analyzed on a project-by-project basis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to analyze potential impacts to resources present at proposed project sites.