Who Is Behind Lava Ridge?
By Karen Schumacher
Idaho has a crisis brewing in the Magic Valley area and every Idahoan in the state needs to pay attention. Lava Ridge is a proposed project on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land that would build up to 400 wind turbines, 7 substations, 248 miles of collector lines, 19 miles of transmission lines, 486 miles of new roads, and several other land damaging installations. The turbines may have a maximum height of 740 feet. This will eventually expand to include the Salmon Falls Wind Project and the Taurus Wind Turbine Project. This is long but it goes deep.
All of these projects are for “energy in the west”, meaning any state has access to the energy that is produced. There is no benefit to Idaho with this project and it is critical that all Idahoans boot it out.
In 2017, the federal government removed over 10 million acres of Sage Grouse habitat protections for energy development. It is ironic that, with others, Governor Little expressed concerns about this project when he was the one who rearranged those sage grouse protections in 2022 so the land could be used for energy projects, including Lava Ridge. It is also interesting that some LS Power “individual” donated money to Rep. Simpson in 2022.
The BLM Idaho Resource Advisory Council, in 2021, created a subcommittee with several interests represented, “to compile information and conduct research regarding the proposed Lava Ridge Wind Project” for recommendations to the Council on the project, its last meeting being held March 9, 2023. The BLM completed its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in January, 2023, the comment period being extended to April 20. Information on how to comment can be found here or here. All DEIS documents can be found here.
Magic Valley Energy (MVE) was incorporated as a Foreign Limited Liability Company in 2019. The last filed annual report in 2022 indicates it was signed by Paul Thessen, President, LS Power Development. Luke Papez, who introduced the project under the guise of MVE, is really the Project Manager for LS Power. In essence, MVE is really just a front name for what is actually LS Power, not an affiliate as stated on its website.
MVE’s Development Plan doesn’t include the damage it will bring to the Magic Valley area or the disruption it will cause. In its “Purpose and Need” statement, this project will “have the ability to serve multiple power markets in the western United States, including those accessible through use of the Southwest Intertie Project transmission corridor” that runs through Nevada, part of the financing program Transmission Infrastructure Program (TIP). This is MVE’s insulting response to the Idaho Delegation and Local Legislator’s Letter Regarding the Lava Ridge Wind Project, and to the Twin Falls County Commissioner’s resolution. MVE also has a blog raving about the positives of what they are doing.
The plan suggests “The need for the Project arises from regulatory, utility, and consumer driven objectives to incorporate increasing amounts of renewable/carbon free energy sources into energy supply portfolios.” It lists the states with those needs as Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Montana, New Mexico, and the City of Los Angeles. This is not the full truth. For one, it is not consumer driven by Idahoans.
LS Power, a multibillion dollar multinational corporation, was founded by Mikhail (Mike) Segal in 1990. He began his career by receiving his education at the Kharkiv Polytech Institute in Ukraine, then immigrating to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union in 1978, having obtained his U.S. citizenship somewhere along the way. His work history includes working for the Department of Energy (DOE) in the former Soviet Union; serving on the Center on Global Energy Policy Advisory Board, and holding other positions in companies such as Dynegy, among others.
Mr. Segal serves as the Chairman of LS Power, with his son, Paul Segal, serving as its CEO. LS Power “is a development, investment and operating company focused on the power and energy infrastructure sector.” In more simple terms, it is a private company that invests, develops, and operates power generation and electric transmission infrastructure in the United States.
Paul Segal is an Advisory Board member of the Institute for Policy Integrity, “a non-partisan think tank dedicated to improving the quality of governmental decision making,” primarily focusing on climate and energy policy. Its collaborators are environmental groups. In 2019, he was selected to serve as an Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) Chair.
Apparently, LS Power made much of its fortune on gas powered plants, but since 2020 its focus has turned to “renewable” energy. This corporation became so wealthy, it needs no funding from other sources for projects, it funds its own.
Mr. Segal does have moments of reality, so he continues to invest in natural gas. He understands renewable energy cannot meet energy needs but, “Our fleet is well-positioned to help accelerate the clean energy transition by managing the intermittency of renewables.”…and “keeping the lights on when renewable resources are unavailable due to weather conditions or when extreme weather events destabilize the grid.” After all, “maintenance of sufficient fossil-fuel infrastructure” is needed “to ensure continued energy security, affordability and reliability.” However a buck needs to be made.
Paul Segal has a Paul and Jenna Segal Family Foundation. Paul’s wife, Jenna Segal, is a Broadway Producer with quite an extensive involvement in several progressive projects and philanthropy, including the establishment of a fund for scholars in Ukraine following the outbreak of war. Along with his father Mike, Paul and his wife have made donations to the same organizations. They have three children and live in New York. They seem like a nice family, but live a life that is a far cry from Magic Valley lifestyles, having no problem coming to Idaho for a profit. Maybe in New York they aren’t bothered by a skyline of buildings, lights, and noise, but it isn’t wanted in Idaho.
As for LS Power, it has really amassed quite a portfolio. Most recently in November, 2022, it was set to complete a deal to buy 42 run-of-river hydro facilities across 11 states, fortunately none in Idaho. This deal adds to its already large portfolio that includes corporations it has bought or formed such as EVgo, Endurant Energy, REV Renewables, Rise Light & Power, CPower Energy Management, and Primary Renewable Fuels, LLC. The corporation has also had its hand in battery projects. All of these LS Power owned outfits have been used to build grids that generate and transmit power across the United States with additional projects in the works. South Korea is helping by investing in this corporation to “accelerate the expansion of REV’s portfolio of renewable power and energy storage projects.” They know where money can be made.
LS Power also uses the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics for its work, which they probably think makes them a responsible corporation. Nothing in that report comes close to recognizing the environmental and social damage they bring with the Lava Ridge project. While it claims to meet the needs of communities, protect the environment, and most laughable, “work with local communities” to bring “sustainable energy” to the area, which nobody asked for in the first place and in which massive local opposition exists, perhaps LS Power and Mr. Segal should rethink what his corporation is really proposing in reality. While Governor Little and Congressional leaders have expressed concern about the project, it is interesting that Rep. Simpson received money from an individual(s) at LS Power in 2022.
Apparently, LS Power has ruffled feathers in Idaho before. In 2010 it wanted to erect a high-transmission line that would have bisected the Minidoka National Historic Site (NHS), but it was successfully lobbied to have it relocated outside of the NHS (pg 10). So LS Power has known about this area for quite some time, and it looks like they have lawyered up for this project already.
Power grids built by LS Power are located across the United States, in California (CAISO), Texas, (ERCOT), the Midwest (MISO), midwestern to eastern states (PJM), and New York (NYISO). Its utilities include Republic Transmission, SilverRun Electric, Cross Texas Transmission, DesertLink Transmission, and One Nevada. Idaho has three major power grids, will LS Power share its grids with those? It appears in this article Mr. Segal is complaining that regulations prevent him from expanding even further.
This corporation trots across the United States and builds “clean” energy projects and grids with the help of the White House. With all of its wealth why the incentive to continue doing it? Well, maybe because its pockets go just a little deeper, and with those pockets comes more power and control, just part of the global corporate takeover of our world.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is well known for its education and research. One of its initiatives is called MITei, or the MIT Energy Initiative to “transform the world’s energy systems” and “develop low- and no-carbon solutions”. This is right up the alley of LS Power, so it is a member of the initiative.
Among the other corporate MITei members, are World Economic Forum (WEF) members Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, and Shell, and MIT itself, to name just a few. LS Power is sitting right there in the middle along with the many other top dogs.
Poppy Allonby, a WEF Young Global Leader, sits on the external advisory board for MITei, works for BlackRock, and is head of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) enablement for T. Rowe Price. Martha Broad, MITei Executive Director, is another female devoted to the WEF.
MITei has created its Future Energy Systems Center (FESC), in which LS Power is a member, to “reshape the landscape of energy supply and demand.” LS Power is doing its part with building wind power and transmission lines.
Since its inception, MITei has been spreading its destructive agenda across the world, these over-educated, pompous elitists who have decided how the masses will obtain energy, regardless of the destruction to the land with turbines, solar panels, and batteries. It does not bother these elitists to tear up land, disrupt people’s lives, or dictate how others should live, none of it is in their vocabulary. They really believe they know best. There is no greater population who loves their land more than Idahoans, and what these people are doing is irresponsible and unacceptable.
But it doesn’t stop there.
WEF partners with the International Energy Agency (IEA), in which the United States participates, and whose goal is to work “with governments and industry to shape a secure and sustainable energy future for all.” This group also works to create “sustainable energy systems.” It is all part of the WEF energy transition plan to implement Sustainable Development Goal #7.A, “promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology,” and #7.B, “expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all.” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF, talks about this energy transition at the 3:25 mark.
Paul Segal can see this future, the wealth to be made, and probably why he has a portfolio that includes most of these systems. Idaho is an easy target for him to make his money. How much money does one have to make before it is enough?
These projects will have a negative impact on the area, some of which may be long term. This claim for clean energy comes with its own set of negative aspects as well such as killing birds, and dumping turbine waste. If those who live outside this area think this information isn’t relevant to them, think again. With Idaho’s vast uninhabited, and federally owned land, the government and corporations have already studied where they can lay their projects down, the agenda is clean energy and no area in Idaho is safe from its intrusion.
More information on this project can be found in an article written by the Magic Valley Liberty Alliance (MVLA) including resources to express opposition to these projects. There is also a Facebook page, Stop Lava Ridge, and website. Capital Clarity gave a presentation on this project. This link has information on FAQs with contacts for other questions, and on page 8 the best way in which to provide a comment.
This February 24, 2023 video by the BLM provides an explanation of the DEIS, including the alternatives. At the 1:2:04 mark, it was stated that energy produced by Lava Ridge would be traded to purchasers on western markets, depending on where the transmission lines are capable of sending it. Purchasers could obtain a power purchase agreement that would require an approved authorization, which needs to be completed prior to the BLM giving a notice to proceed on the project. Out of state money will be put into a system that damages Idaho land and livelihoods.
This transformation to clean energy is an agenda that has been set by the government in partnership with global corporations, who are marching over Idaho with lofty ideas on how they think we should be living, with no representation by citizens. It is the Great Reset being implemented in real time.
The time to become engaged is now. If LS Power gets their foot in the door there will be no deterrent to them trying again, or others coming into the state to do the same. Now is the time to say No. Help Magic Valley stop LS Power from ruining the area and our state before April 20. Include comments about scientific studies that show the damage turbines cause to the environment, kill birds, create more waste that is hard to dispose of such as the blades and batteries, and the negative effect they have on the human environment.