State energy plan’s clean energy provisions under fire
An Idaho legislative committee is preparing a revised state energy plan, though with considerably less fanfare – and far less public involvement – than accompanied the original plan adopted in 2007.
The legislature’s Interim Energy, Environment and Technology Committee is in charge of the mandated five-year review, intended to culminate in legislative action during the 2012 session. Instead of seeking extensive public input, the committee essentially referred the rewrite to the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance. ISEA’s 11-member board of directors, which includes five utility representatives, has proposed several revisions that would seriously weaken the 2007 plan. In particular, the revision would remove all recommended action items endorsing tax and related incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in homes and businesses.
Public-interest advocates including the Snake River Alliance are working to defend the clean energy provisions in the 2007 plan. The public input period was set to expire Oct. 21, though SRA is working to extend the period.
For more information, go to http://sunvalleyonline.com/2011/10/14/state-quietly-revamps-idaho-energy-plan-comments-due-oct-21
For more information on the Idaho Caucus report,
contact Ken Miller: kmiller (at) snakeriveralliance (dot) org
Eminent domain rollback referendum falls short
Supporters of IR 125, a citizens’ referendum aimed at overturning Montana’s new eminent domain law, apparently have failed to secure enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot, let alone suspend the law.
HB 198, passed last legislative session, broadened the eminent domain and property condemnation rights of private, for-profit project developers. The bill was intended to make it easier to site new transmission lines
Meanwhile, Montana’s Public Service Commission is considering a proposal to limit the size of qualifying wind facilities under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) to no more than 2 megawatts.
For more information on the Montana Caucus report,
contact Kyla Wiens: kwiens (at) meic (dot) org
State gearing up for 10-year energy plan
Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office has begun the process of developing a 10-year energy plan for the state. Three teams of experts are being assembled to consider energy efficiency, resource mix and siting issues. The process is aimed at fashioning a legislative proposal for the 2013 session.
Kitzhaber also is considering whom to appoint to fill the one vacancy on Oregon’s Public Utility Commission. The two sitting commissioners are Democrats; the third cannot be.
For more information on the Oregon caucus report,
contact Jeff Hammarlund: jeffhammarlund (at) usa (dot) net
Legislative prep proceeds
Proposed legislative action to ensure fulfillment of the goals of the state’s clean energy law, Initiative 937, has been chosen as one of the environmental community’s three priorities for the 2012 session. The Washington Environmental Priorities Coalition — a network of 25 leading environmental groups in Washington, including NW Energy Coalition and many of its members and allies — identifies a small number of priority bills each session.
I-937 requires larger electric utilities in the state to get 15% of their power from new, clean renewable energy by 2020 and to secure all the available cost-effective energy efficiency in their service territories. The law is working well and utilities are meeting interim goals, but a comprehensive look at the legislation could help assure achievement of future efficiency and renewables targets.
Report from Coalition staff
For more information on the Washington caucus report,
contact Kim Drury: kim (at) nwenergy (dot) org