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Rep. Simpson Works to Ensure Idahoans Aren’t Trampled by Lava Ridge Wind Project

WASHINGTON— Today, the House Committee on Appropriations voted to advance the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson – Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee – secured a provision related to onshore wind projects in Idaho requiring the Comptroller General to produce a report identifying potential adverse effects of wind energy development. This provision is a result of the Lava Ridge Wind Project proposal.  

“Idahoans expect more out of the use of our public lands,” said Rep. Simpson. “Affected farmers, tribes, and the Japanese American community have raised serious concerns, and it’s clear the project is predominantly opposed. The out-of-touch Lava Ridge Wind Project has no place in our state, and I’m proud to fight for the interests of Idahoans.”  

Rep. Simpson has been a strong vocal opponent of the Lava Ridge Wind Project and has advocated for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to listen to Idahoans’ concerns. Rep. Simpson questioned BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning, on the proposed Lava Ridge Wind Project on public lands in Magic Valley, Idaho, and if the pressure to increase renewable energy trumps the impacts on species and cultural sites. Most recently, Rep. Simpson, and the Idaho Delegation, pressed Director Stone-Manning regarding her department’s efforts to change the multiple-use approach of federal land management and the Biden administration’s failure to hold in-person public meetings in Idaho regarding this proposed rule. 

The Lava Ridge Wind Turbine Project is a proposal from LS Power and Magic Valley Energy, LLC, to construct and operate a 400-turbine wind energy generating facility on BLM land in Lincoln, Minidoka, and Jerome counties. Earlier this year, the BLM proposed two preferred alternatives as part of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Rep. Simpson’s provision language is part of the Fiscal Year 2024 funding package for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Related Agencies.  

This funding package will now go to the full floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.