Owyhee is Idaho’s 1st County to Adopt Energy Plan


Dec. 4, 2007

Andrea Shipley, Snake River Alliance Executive Director
(208) 433-9161 office
(208) 514-8713 cell

Owyhee County, which has the dubious distinction of being targeted for Idaho’s first commercial nuclear power plant, recently became the state’s first county to adopt an energy plan to develop its clean energy resources.

“The Owyhee County Commission, the Energy Task Force and others who developed Idaho’s first county energy plan should be congratulated for showing needed leadership in planning for Owyhee County’s energy future,” said Snake River Alliance Executive Director Andrea Shipley. “The new energy plan is remarkably detailed and will be invaluable as the county begins to develop its vast renewable energy resources. It also sets the bar for other counties to follow.”

While seven Idaho cities have so far signed on to the national “U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement” to develop strategies to save energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Idaho counties have been slower to develop comprehensive energy plans.

That Owyhee County has taken the lead in Idaho in planning for new energy resources and finding ways to save energy is all the more impressive given the county also faces the daunting task of trying to process an application by a developer seeking to build a nuclear power plant on C.J. Strike Reservoir, Shipley said.

“This plan shows the county is looking for ways to protect its abundant natural resources while at the same time finding ways to develop clean energy resources that will protect the environment and generate millions of dollars a year in new revenues,” Shipley said.

The new energy plan contains a detailed examination of such energy resources as solar, biomass, biofuels, low-head (small) hydropower, geothermal and wind.

The plan also recognizes Owyhee County’s historic agricultural roots and includes recommendations on how its farm and ranch economies can flourish with the help of clean and affordable renewable energy resources. It recognizes the need to act to minimize global warming impacts, and includes creative recommendations in such areas as planning and zoning and other regulations. Ultimately, it shows how Idaho’s rural counties can benefit financially while preserving precious natural resources and still meeting future energy needs.

The Owyhee County Energy Plan can be found on the county’s website at www.owyheecounty.net and by clicking “Planning and Zoning” and then “Forms.”

The Snake River Alliance is an Idaho-based grassroots group working through
research, education, and community advocacy for peace and justice, the end
to nuclear weapons, responsible solutions to nuclear waste and contamination, and sustainable alternatives to nuclear power.