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Conservation groups say energy corridors unlawful

More than a dozen conservation groups filed suit against the federal government this week charging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the heads of other federal land management agencies with ignoring federal laws when they designated 6,000 miles of energy corridors in New Mexico and other Western states.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco Tuesday, claims the government didn't take into account the effect of the corridors on wildlife and scenic lands, including its impact on New Mexico's Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and Utah's Arches National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The corridors will be used by power plants fueled by coal and other fossil fuels, but the lawsuit alleges the swaths of land for the corridors were chosen without consideration for future generating stations that could use renewable energy sources.  The AP's Susan Montoya Bryan explains here.

Saving Energy: No Place Like Hohm

 Seattle’s KPLU has an interesting tidbit about a new service being offered by local utilities: Free Microsoft software that allows residents to customize their power use, saving money and reducing their carbon footprint. It’s in beta mode for now:, and called Hohm (that's home + ohm). Google recently launched a similar application called PowerMeter:  . Could these be the first baby steps toward the vaunted “smart grid?”