State-by-state highlights from NW Energy Coalition Executive Board meeting on March 17, 2011

British Columbia: No report this month

Idaho: Governor signs geothermal bills

Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a package of four bills that will facilitate development of geothermal energy on state endowment lands by making contracts and lease agreements easier to obtain.

Jim Kempton to retire from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission

The Governor has chosen Paul Kjellander to replace Jim Kempton, who has announced his retirement from the Idaho PUC.

For more information on the Idaho Caucus report,

contact Ken Miller at

Montana: No report this month

Oregon: Legislation proposed to remove restriction on industrial energy efficiency charge

Senate Bill 673 would allow additional funding for large industrial energy efficiency projects by removing the 3% cap on the industrial energy efficiency public purposes charge. The 3% cap was lifted for residential and commercial in 2007.

For more information on the Oregon caucus report,

contact Wendy Gerlitz at

Washington: Modifications to I-937 proposed:

Agreement reached to transition TransAlta plant off coal

Gov. Chris Gregoire, public-interest groups and the TransAlta Corp. have come to an agreement regarding transition of the TransAlta coal plant in Lewis County.  The agreement stipulates:

  • Shutdown of one of plant’s two generating units by 2020 and the other by 2025.
  • Installation of haze-reducing non-catalytic technology by 2013.
  • Company funding of $30 million for energy efficiency and other job creation in Lewis County and another $25 million to support clean energy statewide.

The agreement also allows state utilities to sign long-term (5 years or more) power purchase agreements with the coal plant that are now prohibited by the state’s Emissions Performance Standard.

Legislation to codify this agreement has passed in the House and is scheduled for a Senate hearing March 22.

For more information on the Washington caucus report,

contact Nancy Hirsh at