Not just blowing off steam

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The Bureau of Land Management is poised to conduct its first-ever lease sale in Colorado for land that could be used to produce geothermal energy.

The Feb. 11 sale covers 800 acres of land southwest of Buena Vista near the Mount Princeton Hot Springs, with a pre-sale public meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2010, 7:30-10 p.m., at the Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E. Main St. Buena Vista.

Though some people could be ticked off about any surface use that might go along with the lease, the idea of geothermal energy should please most environmentalists since it produces no greenhouse gases. Hot water and steam from underground can be used directly for heating or to spin turbines that produce electricity.

Though this would be the BLM's first geothermal lease in Colorado, geothermal energy has been used to produce electricity for decades, most notably in California, where the Geysers development opened up in the 1960s and produces enough electricity to power about 725,000 homes. (Check it out at: http://www.geysers.com/)

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