Groups Criticize Energy Corridors
Nov 19, 2007 - Las Vegas Review
A federal plan for energy corridors running through
Nevada and other Western states drew fire from environmental
Designation of the rights of way would make it more
likely that pipelines, electrical lines and associated
structures would infringe on sensitive environmental
areas, said Nada Culver, legal counsel for the Wilderness
Society. For instance in Nevada, Culver said, "There
are a number of corridors running adjacent to the
Desert National Wildlife Refuge, and there is about
a half-mile-wide corridor that crosses through the
Lake Mead (National Recreation) Area for about five
Environmental groups criticized the energy routes
in a news conference on Thursday. They were reacting
to a draft environmental impact statement released
last week by the Department of Energy and the Bureau
of Land Management.
The government plans to designate about 6,000 miles
of rights of way across Western states to facilitate
the placement of energy infrastructure.
Kevin Kolevar, a DOE assistant secretary, said in
a news release that the corridors were designed to
have a small impact but are necessary to meet future
Federal officials said the intent was to skirt national
parks, wilderness and wilderness study areas, and
But the environmentalists said the plan lacks specific
protections. They said they were concerned in cases
where the corridors might come within a mile of sensitive
In Nevada, the corridors run north and south along
the western and eastern segments of the state, and
also across Northern Nevada including near Elko and
John Wallin, director of the Nevada Wilderness Project,
said the corridor's proximity to the Desert National
Wildlife Refuge was of particular concern.
"It is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska,"
Jonathan Schrader, a spokesman for the Energy Department,
said as much as 60 percent of the corridors nationally
are already in place and in use.
"They already have transmission lines in them or have
already been designated," Schrader said.
"Keep in mind that the new (routes) are just proposed
corridors," Schrader said. "Any time a utility company
calls for building something, they still need to go
through routine (Environmental Protection Agency)
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