Idaho Statesman guest opinion: Idaho needs a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Feb. 6 article, “Idaho officials protest carbon reduction plan,” raised important questions about whether Idaho should do its share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A number of legislators and other policymakers in Idaho reject evidence that the climate is changing due to such influences as our utilities’ excessive reliance on out-of-state coal-fired power plants. They may dislike inevitable federal greenhouse gas emission controls, but they cannot wish those controls – or the consequences of climate change – away. Recall:

• Gov. Butch Otter issued a 2007 executive order that said in part, “The causes and effects of rising greenhouse gases, to the degree they are understood, may extend to the Western United States and the state of Idaho, and it is incumbent upon states to take a leadership role in developing responsive state-level policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop alternative energy sources, and use energy efficiently.”