Home Opinion Editorials Idaho power seeks input, so give them some
Idaho power seeks input, so give them some
Idaho Power has restarted its process for determining a route for a
proposed high-voltage electrical transmission line that would run from
Hemingway, Idaho, to Boardman. The route is sure to pass through a
portion of Union County.
Idaho Power officials held open houses in
La Grande and Baker City last week to provide an overview of the proposal and inform the public that it is seeking input. Mapping of a proposed route should begin in September. Those who would like to have input on possible routes should plan to get their comments in soon so they can be considered when the mapping process gets under way. Determining a proposed route for the towers and line will take time. Idaho Power’s goal is to have the permitting and engineering phase completed by December 2012 — more than three years from now. The company would like to begin construction in January 2013 with the project complete by 2015.
It’s not a quick process. Gathering public input, putting together a proposed route and getting reaction to it takes time.
Opposition to the line didn’t take long to develop once Idaho Power announced its intention to construct the line. The company had a preliminary route in mind, but withdrew that when people all along the route voiced concerns. Now, it seems, Idaho Power is going about the process much more carefully. It has formed three community advisory teams to identify concerns, develop a range of possible routes and recommend routes.
The nation is in desperate need of an updated electrical grid. Idaho Power’s proposed line is just one component of many efforts in the works to rebuild and expand the grid. The nation needs the capability to distribute more power.
Conservation holds a lot of potential. But even with as much emphasis as there is being placed on the importance of conservation, the fact remains that Americans aren’t likely to conserve enough energy to forestall the need for an updated and expanded energy grid.
Idaho Power intends to construct a new transmission line. Provided that its application meets rules and regulations, it will do so. Anyone who cares about what course the route might take should get involved in the process now.