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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Congress Spending Bill Rider Could Slow Down ID Wind Energy Installation

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Monday, July 24, 2023   

A spending bill in Washington, D.C. includes a provision to conduct further study of wind energy before its installation in Idaho. Critics say the provision could slow down wind power's rollout.

A rider added to an appropriations bill in Congress stipulates that funds won't be available for wind energy in Idaho until the U.S. Comptroller General completes a study of its environmental impact.

The report must identify potential adverse impacts to wildlife, cultural resources, hunting and other things.

However, Brad Heusinkveld - energy policy associate with the Idaho Conservation League - said this is redundant.

"What this bill is doing is essentially duplicating a lot of that analysis - that's already existing and ongoing for a number of projects - into another office," said Heusinkveld. "So essentially adding more process that's duplicative and unnecessary for these projects."

Heusinkveld said the federal government already collects the same information under the National Environmental Policy Act when permitting new energy projects. He noted that the permitting stage is already lengthy.

The rider is attached to an appropriations bill for the Interior and Energy departments and related agencies.

Heusinkveld said the grid in the West is evolving and we're likely on the leading edge of an emerging renewable energy economy.

"It's coming, and we hope to make wise and informed siting decisions," said Heusinkveld, "and we don't necessarily think that this bill adds to that process."

Wind is the third most used source of energy in Idaho's grid, accounting for 17% of the state's power supply in 2022.


Disclosure: Idaho Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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