News

Tribe sues U.S. government over geothermal lease renewals in California

Calpine City View Plaza San Jose (source: flickr/ Michael Gray, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 23 Apr 2019

Calpine's lease on the Glass Mountain Geothermic Unit in Siskiyou Country, California is being challenged by the Pit River Tribe over the failure to develop the project.

As reported by Courthouse News, the Pit River Tribe in the Medicine Lake Higlands of Siskiyou County in San Francisco California is suing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over claims that they have allowed the Calpine Corporation to maintain a lease on their sacred land for decades. According to the lawsuit, the lease has been renewed despite the failure of Calpine to make “diligent efforts” to produce geothermal power – one of the lease renewal requirements.

Calpine Corporation won a U.S. government contract in 1982 to explore for geothermal energy in the 2560 acres of national forest, known bureaucratically as the Glass Mountain Geothermic Unit. There have been no geothermal wells drilled in the project since 1988, when Calpine reported that one site was capable of generating less then 5 MW of electricity.

According to the 23-page complaint filed in the Northern District of California, “Plaintiffs challenge the validity of the lease on the grounds that BLM and the United States Department of Interior are engaged in an ongoing failure to comply with their mandatory duty to terminate the lease as required by the Geothermal Steam Act.” The ongoing lease of the land has interfered with the tribe’s use of the sacred ground, including the conduct of their customs and traditions.

For the full article, see link below.

Source: Courthouse News