The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals questioned whether the federal government took a "hard look" at the potential impacts of Calpine's proposed geothermal development at Medicine Lake, as required by law. The February 14 hearing was a last-ditch effort by the Pit River Tribe to derail Calpine's plans for the Modoc County power facility. The tribe considers the area sacred land. Judges grilled the Bureau of Land Management's attorney as to whether the agency actually undertook a review under the National Environmental Protection Act and, if not, whether it could do it at this late point. The BLM lifted a moratorium on geothermal development in the Medicine Lake area in June 2001 for several reasons. The agency said that the nation was facing the most serious energy shortage since the oil embargoes of the 1970s. In addition, a new executive order directed agencies to expedite projects, and the President's National Energy Policy Development Group recommended increasing geothermal energy production and reducing delays in geothermal lease processing. After the tribe exhausted its administrative appeals, the predecessor to this case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in 2002. That court granted summary judgment in favor of Calpine and the federal agencies. Developer Calpine argued to the appeals court that an "exhaustive" environmental impact statement, as required by law, was done in 1998. In addition, the company said the proposed geothermal site in the Klamath and Modoc National Forests was not pristine. It "will not be substantially affected in any physical, tangible way," the company said. The land has been logged and mined and is host to snowmobiles and water skiing. The Pit River Tribe countered that "Medicine Lake and the Highlands are integral to the history and traditions of the Pit River Tribe." The group, represented by the Stanford Law Clinic, added that the area has a "visually stunning landscape." Justin Pidot, a Stanford law student representing the tribe, told the judges that over the last 30 years, the area has been eyed for potential geothermal development. "At any point, the government could have conducted a hard look" at the impacts of development and alternatives to that development. However, it failed to do so, he added. The judges took the case, Pit River Tribe et al. v. BLM, Department of Interior, USFS, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and Calpine, 04-15746, under consideration.