Idaho Energy Update
June 13, 2008
The Idaho Legislature’s Interim Energy Committee scheduled a two-day meeting June 25-26 to discuss everything from gasoline prices to a proposed nuclear power plant and the Idaho Energy Plan. Meanwhile, developers of the Elmore County nuke plant will hold another “public meeting” Monday, June 16, in Glenns Ferry to make their pitch on the virtues of nuclear power – and more specifically having a power plant alongside the Snake River south of Mountain Home. Read on for developments on these and other energy issues in Idaho.
Thanks as always, and if you have any calendar items, please send them my way!
Clean Energy Program Director
Snake River Alliance
(208) 344-9161 office
(208) 841-6982 cell
I: AEHI’s Next Elmore Nuke Hearing is Monday in Glenns Ferry
Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., will hold its next meeting on its Elmore County nuclear power plant proposal from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Glenns Ferry Opera House.
Notes from the first AEHI meeting, as well as other information about the nuke plant proposal, can be found at www.snakeriveralliance.org.
All signs are pointing to a good turnout for Monday’s Glenns Ferry meeting, although it remains to be seen whether AEHI will allow questions from anyone living outside Elmore County. It prohibited such questions at the Mountain Home meeting, to the dismay of several attendees who traveled long distances to hear from the company and to ask questions about its proposal.
II: Legislative Panel Sets 2-Day Meeting on Energy Issues
The Idaho Legislature’s Interim Energy, Environment, and Technology Committee will meet later this month to discuss the proposed Elmore nuclear plant, the Idaho Energy Plan, gasoline prices, and other issues.
Legislative Services posted a notice of the meeting on the Legislature’s website (www.legislature.idaho.gov) and while the agenda has not been prepared, the notice says the meeting will cover such issues as:
– Update on Idaho utilities’ biannual integrated resource plans (IRPs), the studies utilities are required to prepare every other year to advise the Public Utilities Commission and the public on how the utilities will meet their future needs.
– A report from Office of Energy Resources Administrator Paul Kjellander on how the state is faring in meeting the goals of the 2006 Idaho Energy Plan. So far, only one of the 44 recommendations in the energy plan has been acted upon, and that was a technical measure to ensure the Idaho PUC has authority over some transmission corridors.
– An update from Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., (see above) on its plans for a nuclear power plant south of Mountain Home. The committee heard a similar presentation from AEHI CEO Don Gillispie last summer.
– A report from the Attorney General’s Office on gasoline prices.
– A report from the Public Utilities Commission and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council about Northwest energy issues.
– A discussion on whether to pursue a bill – held last session – to promote energy efficient building designs for Idaho schools.
We’ll keep this list posted on how the agenda shapes up. Meantime, if you have questions for the committee, you can find the members at www.legislature.idaho.gov and you can also contact committee staff Mike Nugent or Charmi Arregui in the Legislative Services Office at 334-2475.
III: BLM Wants Prelim Comments on Gateway West Transmission Line by July 3
A reminder that the Bureau of Land Management hopes to receive public comments on the Idaho Power-PacifiCorp Gateway West transmission line by July 3. For those who haven’t closely followed the Gateway West project, it’s expected to reach from the Dave Johnston coal plant complex east of Casper down to around Medicine Bow, through the huge wind fields on to Rawlins, and to the Jim Bridger coal complex, of which Idaho Power and PacifiCorp are co-owners. It would then head through more Wyoming wind country and eventually into Idaho, where the line would likely split into north and south routes and end at a substation to be built south of Nampa. It’s about 450 miles of big, 500kv transmission line in Idaho, and 550 miles in Wyoming.
BLM recently completed a series of open houses in both states to explain the project to the public, but the scoping comment period that began May 16 is scheduled to run through July 3. The main page for more information and to comment is at http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west/
Keep in mind this is just the beginning of this process. There will be opportunities for formal comments once the BLM issues a draft environmental impact statement, probably in early 2009. Still, this is a great chance to familiarize yourself with the project, and its possible environmental and other impacts.
On the Agenda:
► The Idaho Public Utilities Commission holds its next decision meetings on June 23 and 23. Agendas are normally posted the day before on the Commission’s website at www.puc.state.id.us
► The Legislature’s Interim Energy Committee meets June 25-26 at the Capitol Annex in Room 204. The meeting on the 25th is scheduled to run from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., and the meeting on the 26th from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The agenda has not been set. See above for more details on items to be discussed.
► The Snake River Alliance holds a Community Dinner to discuss the national Carbon-Free and Nuclear Free 2050 campaign on June 25. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the event begins at 6 p.m. at the Basque Center at 601 West Grove Street. The Alliance will be rolling out the theme for the national Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free campaign. You’re encouraged to join the Alliance for a traditional dinner meeting. Call 344-9161 for details, or visit www.snakeriveralliance.org