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 By Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Contact
September 19, 2008

Boise, ID – If you follow the money spent on energy in Idaho, you'll find almost every dime flows out of the state, according to information being mulled by an Idaho legislative interim committee this week. Rhys Roth with Climate Solutions told the committee Idahoans are sending more than $3 billion out of state because there's no energy choice--yet.

"Idaho is fossil fuel poor, but the Gem State is renewable energy rich, with a tremendous amount of untapped potential there."

Roth says Climate Solutions' research shows the state could keep a big chunk of the outgoing cash by aggressively developing renewable energy and by encouraging energy efficiency. He says the state Energy Plan approved in 2007 talks about those things, but policies and incentives are still needed to kick the ideas into high gear.

Roth believes it's in Idaho's best interest both economically and on the jobs front to step away from fossil fuels whenever possible.

"Capturing some of that energy, either through energy efficiency or renewables within the state, can have a huge economic benefit."

The research Roth presented to the Idaho legislative interim committee is available online at www.climatesolutions.org.

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