Following up on the M.I.T. study and a separate survey of its own, the Bureau of Land Management issued a decision last month that would open up as many as 190 million acres to leases for geothermal exploration and development. These lands are mostly in the West, where hot rock lies closer to the surface than it generally does in the East.
…Geothermal development must not be allowed to foster another drilling free-for-all of the kind we’ve seen during the past decade. Done right, it could help free the country of the grievous environmental burden of coal-burning power plants. Done wrong, it could create grievous environmental problems of its own. Mindful of the dangers, the next administration should commit to developing this extraordinary resource.