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Idaho Energy Forum: What Happened to the State Energy Plan?

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July 16, 2009

BOISE, Id. – The Idaho Energy Plan went on the books in 2007. Although it received kudos from energy companies, state officials, legislators and clean-energy advocates, the plan has so far been gathering dust. Key energy policy players are gathering this weekend at a forum to talk about how to kick-start the plan, which includes recommendations on using less electricity, natural gas and transportation fuels.

Andrea Shipley, executive director of the Snake River Alliance, the forum sponsor, says with rising energy costs and new federal energy policies coming into play, the state cannot afford to let the plan sit on a shelf.

"The first step in getting there is going to be through energy efficiency and conservation, which are going to be fairly easy on the state's budget."

She says this is the first time energy stakeholders have met to talk about how to implement the energy plan. The energy forum is part of the Idaho Green Expo, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in downtown Boise.

Shipley says Idaho depends heavily on limited hydropower and on coal-fired power produced in other states, and the energy plan recognizes more diversity is needed.

"We get very little from non-hydro renewables like wind and geothermal – even though they have great potential and are really affordable for Idahoans."

The energy forum will be held July 18 at 5 p.m. in the Boise Centre on the Grove.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID