The Observer’s recent reporting ("Council dismisses recent B2H objections," Thursday, Sept. 2) gave the impression that the STOP B2H Coalition has met their demise.
This is incorrect.
We are alive and well and fighting for all Eastern Oregonians’ rights and quality of life. What was reported was a skirmish on issues regarding an appeal of summary determinations and questioning the administrative law judge’s competency. Neither were issues brought up by the Stop B2H Coalition.
There are still 57 issues and 24 people that will be presenting their written arguments on Sept. 17 to the administrative law judge for the Energy Facility Siting Council in the Oregon Department of Energy contested case.
These issues include protecting our viewsheds, parks, forests, soils, fish and unchecked weed growth from road construction. Besides enforcing noise standards that Idaho Power and the state want to eliminate, and keeping large construction equipment and traffic away from our neighborhoods, there is the biggest one of all — preventing devastation from forest fires.
Idaho Power wants to ring the Grande Ronde Valley with large transmission towers that will be visible from the entire valley. They will be seen as one drives on Interstate 84. They will go through Morgan Lake and the Ladd Marsh Wildlife areas and they will be placed directly in front of the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker County.
Meanwhile, Idaho Power is rich with renewable energy at home in Idaho, with more coming online in the coming years. They have all the energy they need in Idaho regardless of the season. Instead, they would rather pillage Oregon’s resources and land to maximize their profits for their shareholders. Because they are a regulated monopoly they’ll make 7.6% profit for every penny spent. The $1.2 billion transmission line (2016 dollars) is more expensive than building renewables and your energy bills (whether Idaho Power or OTEC) will ultimately reflect this.
We need to, and will, stop this unnecessary transmission line.
co-chair, Stop B2H Coalition