Nevada transmission line sparks debate over costs of green energy

Source: By Scott Streater, E&E News • Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2024

BLM released a mitigation plan for Greenlink West, which would cross a national monument. Critics are decrying the project’s threat to natural resources.

The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument near Las Vegas.

A view of the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument near Las Vegas. Matthew Dillon/Flickr

The 470-mile-long Greenlink West transmission line proposed to span the length of Nevada from Las Vegas to Reno will cross the boundaries of a national monument established by Congress a decade ago to protect Ice Age fossils.

But the Bureau of Land Management outlined a plan in its analysis of the project that incorporates a host of special provisions designed to protect the paleontological resources along the 1.5-mile section of the line that will cross the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument near Las Vegas.

Those details are in a final environmental impact statement that BLM quietly released Wednesday that documents the precise route of the transmission project proposed by NV Energy.

Laura Daniel-Davis, the acting deputy Interior secretary, announced Tuesday the completion of the final EIS. But BLM did not mention the proposed route across the 22,650-acre national monument site. Nor did it release the final analysis, which includes a “preferred alternative” routing the line about 5 feet inside the monument boundary.