All renewable energy resources are vital to weaning the U.S. off foreign oil and off environmentally unfriendly energy sources such as coal. Geothermal energy is one of the under-developed resources in the U.S. and in Idaho.
The Raft River Geothermal Project located in southern Cassia County, Idaho is set to go online by September or October of this year with the potential of producing up to 110 megawatts of power. The area is predicted to contain the capability of producing 15.6 megawatts per square mile and was rated first in the "Final High Temperature Ranking: Pacific Northwest" of geothermal sites in the four state Pacific Northwest region.
But that's not the only area in Idaho that has geothermal potential. Check out these links from the state Department of Water Resources and this Energy Atlas sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation and the Energy Foundation.
Now comes news that the federal government is looking at possibly leasing geothermal resources on public lands close to Yellowstone National Park which could damage the geysers and other features that make Yellowstone, Yellowstone.
From the Greater Yellowstone Coalition:
Yellowstone National Park boasts roughly 10,000 geothermal features, including more than 200 geysers, and is the largest remaining intact geyser system in the world. These features were largely responsible for Yellowstone's designation as this country's first national park in 1872.
The hot water aquifers necessary to feed Yellowstone's geothermal features extend beyond the Park boundaries and are vulnerable to geothermal development. The federal government is developing criteria for developing geothermal resources on lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Geothermal development just outside the Park could permanently alter or destroy the Park's fragile hydrothermal systems.
Developing geothermal resources is vital and necessary, but let's not destroy Yellowstone National Park in the process. Especially when there are so many other potential development sites available.
Go to this link to take action.