For Immediate Release
July 6, 2009
CONTACT: Andrea Shipley or Liz Woodruff
(208) 514-8713 Cell
July 18 Energy Forum Brings Lawmakers, Utilities, Governor’s Energy Office, PUC to Discuss Implementing Idaho Energy Plan
WHAT: Snake River Alliance Idaho Energy Forum
WHEN: July 18, 5-7 pm at The Idaho Green Expo
WHO: Ken Eklund, director of Legal Policy at the Office of Energy Resources; John “Ric” Gale, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Idaho Power; and from the Legislature Reps. Brian Cronin of Boise and Pat Takasugi of Wilder and Sen. Elliott Werk of Boise. The panel will be moderated by Sara Patton, Executive Director of the NW Energy Coalition.
Representatives from the Idaho Legislature, Gov. Butch Otter’s Office of Energy Resources, the Public Utilities Commission and a major Idaho electric utility will come together July 18 for a first-of-its-kind forum to discuss key energy issues in Idaho and how the state can begin implementing the 2007 Idaho Energy Plan.
The Idaho Energy Forum is sponsored by the Snake River Alliance and will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 18, the opening day of the two-day Idaho Green Expo at The Boise Centre on the Grove in downtown Boise. The Forum will be held in The Grove’s auditorium, The Summit.
“This is the first time that these major energy stakeholders will come together to discuss the critical issue of implementing Idaho’s 2007 Energy Plan,” said Snake River Alliance Executive Director Andrea Shipley. “It’s clear that many of us share the same aspirations for a clean and sustainable energy future for Idaho, and this will be an opportunity for the public to engage with these important stakeholders on how we can move forward.”
Shipley said the two-hour Idaho Energy Forum will allow representatives from Idaho Power, the Office of Energy Resources, and the Idaho Legislature to explain what their respective entities are doing to help implement the state Energy Plan and then to address some of the Plan’s specific recommendations to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in Idaho. The Energy Forum will provide ample time for the public to ask questions and engage in dialogue with the panelists, who will include: Ken Eklund, director of Legal Policy at the Office of Energy Resources; John “Ric” Gale, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Idaho Power; and from the Legislature Reps. Brian Cronin of Boise and Pat Takasugi of Wilder and Sen. Elliott Werk of Boise. The PUC has been invited, but its representative has not been determined yet.
The Idaho Legislature adopted the Energy Plan in 2007 with overwhelming House and Senate votes. The Plan was created by the House-Senate Interim Energy, Environment and Technology after a year’s worth of meetings and was funded by a $300,000 legislative appropriation. The Plan contains dozens of recommendations on electricity, natural gas, petroleum and transportation fuels, and energy facility siting. While the Plan makes specific recommendations to the Public Utilities Commission, the Legislature and the Governor’s Office, few of those recommendations have moved forward, and the Otter Administration is asked to report back to the Legislature on the status of the Plan’s recommendations.
“There are some outstanding recommendations and action items in this Energy Plan,” Shipley said. “We agree with legislators who said when the Plan was adopted that we can’t afford to let this Plan sit on a shelf like the earlier plan that was prepared a quarter century ago. This coming Energy Forum will help breathe life into the state’s energy roadmap.”
The Energy Forum will be moderated by Sara Patton, executive director of the Seattle-based NW Energy Coalition, the lead clean energy advocacy group working in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The Forum is made possible by generous support to the Snake River Alliance from the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation.
For more information about the Idaho Green Expo, visit www.idahogreenexpo.org
The Snake River Alliance works for responsible solutions to nuclear waste and a nuclear-free future. It seeks to strengthen Idaho’s economy and communities through the implementation of renewable energy sources in Idaho and the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. This year marks its 30th Anniversary as Idaho’s nuclear watchdog and advocate for clean energy.