US appeals court rejects bid to block Nevada geothermal power plant

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has rejected a bid by environmentalists and a Nevada tribe to halt construction of a geothermal power plant that opponents say would harm an endemic toad. disappearance and would destroy sacred hot springs.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday refused to reinstate a preliminary injunction that temporarily halted work on the Ormat Nevada project 100 miles east of Reno that would generate carbon-free power by pumping oil hot water under the ground.

A three-judge panel that heard oral argument on the appeal last month concluded that further delay to the project would make it “almost certain” that Ormat would not be able to meet a contractual deadline to complete construction. by the end of this year.

Ormat said missing the deadline would cost the company $30 million over 20 years and could jeopardize the entire project.

“Beyond the economic losses suffered by Ormat,” the appeals court said, “the District Court duly considered the public interest in a ‘carbon-free baseload electricity source,’ the royalties to the federal government and state and local taxes that would be collected as a result of the project.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Dixie Valley toad at temporary emergency risk in April, warning that operating the geothermal power plant near the toad’s habitat could lead to its extinction.

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