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As if things couldn’t get any worse for the company that tried to sell a phantom nuclear reactor to Idahoans, the other shoe just dropped with a 14-count federal criminal indictment charging two executives of Eagle-based Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud and filing a false tax return, among other things.

Don Gillispie, the former head of AEHI, and Jennifer Ransom, its former vice president, began peddling a reactor project in Idaho in 2006, first in Owyhee County and then in Elmore County and finally in Payette County, where local officials embraced the plan. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had already filed civil charges against AEHI, and that case is pending in U.S. District Court. Read More

The PUC approved energy sales agreements between Idaho Power and two solar farm developers, clearing the way for an eye-popping 120 megawatts to be installed in projects near Mountain Home and Boise. Aside from rooftop solar photovoltaic panels installed by a growing number of residents and businesses, this is a breakthrough for solar power in Idaho, and there are another 11 more contracts between Idaho Power and various developers already in the line awaiting PUC review. Read More

The Environmental Protection Agency’s comment deadline on its proposed landmark rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired plants is this Monday, and below are tips on how to comment or to read the voluminous draft rule. You can also find a recent Snake River Alliance summary here.

For those eager to take on the challenge, the 645-page draft rule and the mountain of technical support documents can be found on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov or www.epa.gov/climatechange or http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/what-epa-doing. You won’t need to search hard; a rule of this magnitude is front and center on EPA’s home page and likely will remain there indefinitely. From there, you can access myriad other pages and documents ranging from the most technical to more easy-to-digest fact sheets, statements, and other information about why the rule was proposed, how it’s designed to work, and how you can comment – again, by Dec. 1. Read More

After repeated delays and false starts, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it plans to release its “Draft Environmental Impact Statement” for the 300-mile “Boardman to Hemingway” transmission line on Dec. 19. The agency also said it plans to conduct open houses for the DEIS in January. Once the study is published, the DEIS will be available for a 90-day public comment period and will be available for download at the project website here. Read More

Kelsey Jae Nunez
Executive Director

I remember when I was a kid, the phrase “I told you so!” was so satisfying to say, but the person on the receiving end wasn’t too keen on hearing it. The older I get, the more I appreciate the views of my friends and colleagues, and now I welcome the chance to acknowledge a mistake and thank a friend for advice that I ignored. This is particularly true when I know the advice-giver had good intentions and I recognize the benefit from a lesson learned. Read More