Western Transmission Lines will Serve Dirty Coal, Sierra Club and Allies Take Action
July 13, 2009
On July 7, a coalition of environmental groups, including Sierra Club, filed a lawsuit against several federal agencies for approving a Western transmission line corridor that will primarily serve dirty coal-fired plants and other fossil fuel energy sources, and cut through some of the West’s most treasured natural areas.
The “West-wide Energy Corridor,” finalized by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in the final days of the Bush administration, features a complex network of 6,000 miles of corridor routes that line up almost exactly with existing and proposed coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel energy sources. The corridors traverse many areas of high ecological value, including Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, New Mexico’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, and three wild and scenic river segments in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest. The agencies did not consider alternative routes that would facilitate renewable energy development, nor did they analyze the transmission lines’ potential impacts on endangered species or adjacent state, tribal and private lands.
The coalition of environmental groups is suing federal agencies in an effort to change the location of the corridors to transmit energy across Western lands. The groups are not opposed to transmission line development in the West, but want to ensure that the transmission lines serve renewable energy more than fossil fuels and cause the least environmental harm.
Details and Documents:
Earthjustice et al. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
July 7, 2009, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division
Environmentalists Sue Over Energy Transmission Across Federal Lands
July 8, 2009, by Kate Galbraith, The New York Times
See other "Retiring Old Coal" cases.