Lincoln County’s Hubert opposes Lava Ridge
Credit: Lorien Nettleton | Jun 6, 2022 | magicvalley.com ~~
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SHOSHONE – Lincoln County Commissioner Roy Hubert has publicly stated he is against Lava Ridge.
“I want you to know that I’m 100% against the Lava Ridge project,” Hubert said Monday. “I want that as part of the minutes today, that I am opposed to it in every way. I’ve done my research.”
Hubert’s statement came during a discussion at the regular meeting of the Lincoln County Commission. Hubert said he would like the commission to present a resolution on whether the commission supported or opposed the massive up to 400-turbine wind farm proposed by Magic Valley Energy and LS Power.
If constructed, the Lava Ridge project would be among the largest wind power sites in the U.S., on a large stretch of Bureau of Land Management and state property across Lincoln, Jerome and Minidoka counties. Dietrich and Shoshone are the cities nearest the proposed site. The total project is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.
“I’m still getting phone calls saying, ‘Roy, are you for or against the Lava Ridge?’” Hubert said. “I just want to make sure that people realize that I am opposed to it 100% and would like that in (meeting) minutes.”
Commissioners discussed creating a resolution, but elected to wait until the Environmental Impact Statement and Mitigation plans are released later this summer.
“I’m not sure we should have any resolution until that information is in our hands,” Commissioner Rebecca Wood said, citing the recommendation of the county prosecutor.
The Environmental Impact Statement and Mitigation Plans are expected to be made public in late August or September.
“If they look good for our citizens that’s one thing, and if they look bad, I would be totally against them,” Wood said. “But I would really like the science and all the information that we have helped to provide, and see what’s coming out of it.”
Wood also said that in conversation with commissioners of the other counties, she had heard that they are also waiting for the Environmental Impact Statement to make a resolution.
One county commission making a resolution alone would have a smaller impact than if the three counties concerned presented a united resolution together, Wood said.
“There is some strength in numbers, if the three counties were either for or against together there’s strength in numbers,” Wood said, “but at this time I feel like we have to have all the information in front of us before moving forward.”
Commissioner Joan Rutler said she would be open to discussing a resolution once the Environmental Impact Statement is released.
“The more I learn I do have to admit, the more I am not in favor of it,” Rutler said. “It just seems like our whole south view is going to be destroyed with windmills. Now, I know they have their purpose, but to me it’s just very disheartening.”
The commission anticipates having a number of discussions about Lava Ridge in the future.
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