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Investing Guru Warren Buffett Backs Away from Idaho Nuclear Power Plans

January 29, 2008

Boise, ID – The costs were too high and the profits too low for investment guru Warren Buffett. His plans for a nuclear power plant in Payette County have been scrapped because it wasn't cost-effective. The project promised the county good-paying jobs, but raised questions about water usage and nuclear waste storage.

Andrea Shipley with the Snake River Alliance says the state does need to produce more energy for the future, but other options such as wind power make more financial sense.

"Nuclear power is not economically viable in this state. Buffett's action sends a very clear message to other investors who may want to try to build a nuclear plant in Idaho."

Another firm, Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., is still moving forward with plans to build a nuclear power plant in Owyhee County.

Shipley says the Payette project was well-researched, and the public was invited to offer advice and opinions. She adds that it was very different than the one proposed for Owyhee County, where towers have been built even though the county denied permission.

"Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. continues to refuse to comply with the approval process, and it isn't clear why it is not willing to discuss its plans with the community."

The company behind the Owyhee plan says the permit process was a misunderstanding, and it plans to hold meetings with the public in the future.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - ID