Energy chief stuns environmentalists with renewable energy approach

Nevada’s energy chief wants to take Federal Lands and hand them over to energy companies.

Jim Groth, an appointee of Governor Jim Gibbons, published a declaration which calls for turning the State of Nevada into an energy colony and he doesn’t think it should be subject to National Environmental Policy Act requirements.

“The greatest thing holding Nevada back from achieving economic success right now is the need to satisfy onerous policies or laws and have the ‘right’ paperwork in order,” Groth writes in his “declaration.”

Nevada has become the latest target of energy producers and transmitters of all stripes. Gigantic solar and wind plants as well as geothermal plants have been proposed on public lands. El Paso Corp’s Ruby Pipeline has received preliminary permission to pass through northern Nevada’s most pristine sage grouse and pygmy rabbit habitat. There are also a number of proposed transmission lines to support these developments.

Public lands are not a renewable resource and the kind of development proposed in Nevada will have devastating impacts on wildlife there. It is time to make a major push towards rooftop solar and conservation rather than these centralized power plants on public lands which require transmission lines that lose power getting the electricity to where it is used.

Energy chief stuns environmentalists with renewable energy approach.
Las Vegas Sun


  1. Nancy Avatar

    I can recall years ago (about 30) while traveling cross country, I got into a great discussion about solar power on the CB. (some of you remember the CB? Breaker, breaker?) Anyway this one fellow commented that solar power will never be promoted as long as the government can’t come up with a way to tax us for the use of the sun. Hmmm?

  2. Paul White Avatar
    Paul White

    I’m sympathetic to the idea that federal paperwork’s a bitch (Hey, we’re having to submit a grant to the feds at work right now). That doesn’t mean you should be exempt from any/all oversight though…
    someone refresh my memory as to *why* it’s supposed to be a good idea to have huge monolithic facilities? Why can’t we use smaller solar panels, windmills etc…each city, I don’t know, outfitting the roofs of buildings with them maybe, or seizing abandonded property and using that? There’s a couple of crackhouses I’d love to see converted into a small windfarm, and at least one vacant former warehouse on my way to work we could make into a solar/windfarm plot…

  3. monty Avatar

    Isn’t “economic success”– whatever this really implies–a function of a healthy planet. As is all too apparent, industry does a poor job of regulating their socialistic habitats of “mining the wealth” and passing on the cleanup costs to society. Maybe we are entering a new era of human folly wherein future historians will describe as the “North Afircan goat wars”. It goes like this: In the Sudan, warring tribes are commiting genicide, not for ideology or religious reasons, but for grazing ground for their goats. As the Libyan desert “marches south” the north African goat, that is raw hide tough & able to exist on the most marginal lands of earth, is the only thing that stands between these tribes and starvation. All other options have been exhausted or lost due to human folly.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole