The Pit River Tribe will be in court on March 12, 2015 in the latest round of legal battles regarding the leases. Leases convey a right of entry and development. Calpine had allowed all but one of its leases to expire. Of course not all "green energy" is truly green. If you have every been out to the Medicine Lake Highlands you would notice that there are few roads, a few houses around Medicine Lake, and not much else. With development there would be a new network of roads, power plants, associated infrastructure, and billowing plumes of noxious steam. Heck, right now there are no transmission lines anywhere near the highlands, forcing a major electrical infrastructure project if any of that "green energy" is to be used. Additionally there are severe risks of pollution from the geothermal wells. Local residents tell me that since four test wells went in the temperature of Medicine Lake has been rising steadily. Industrial solutions in rural landscapes normally wind up destroying the latter.
This truly is a David versus Goliath scenario as a small consortium of tribes, a few homeowners, and scattered environmental groups take on corporate America and the Federal Government to save one of the few sacred areas that are left to them.
If you would like to tune in to proceedings you can listen on http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/live_oral_arguments.php. Archived at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/
Normally I will not be using my blog as a political forum and in the way of disclosure I have worked for the Pit River Tribe and still contract with them as an archaeologist. I have too many friends there to be silent. I support the Pit River Tribe in its desire to protect their cultural heritage for future generations. There are lots of other places to get "greener" energy without such costs.