Idaho Power net meter proposal won't affect solar schools

Several people asked me as I did the story in today’s Idaho Statesman about Idaho Power’s net metering proposal, whether it would affect the solar schools program.

There are actually at least two solar schools programs and in both cases, the answer is no.

Labrador compares Democrats to bank robbers and says they want taxes to rise for all

Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador said Democrats “are like bank robbers” who would prefer taxes to go up on all Americans.

“The money is not in the 2 percent. It's in the 100 percent,” he told ABC’s Jonathan Karl on the Sunday morning news program “This Week.”

1357231686 Labrador compares Democrats to bank robbers and says they want taxes to rise for all Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Energy efficiency institute at BSU near funding

Its not official yet but Idaho Power and others are in talks about funding for the Idaho Energy Efficiency Research Institute at Boise State University.

You might remember a couple of years ago when the Center for Advanced Energy Research launched an initiative to establish the institute to develop energy efficiency concepts through research in applied technology and consumer behavior. It would train energy efficiency technicians, engineers and architects and be a place where existing energy-saving technologies could be evaluated.

Warming climate reshapes Idaho in 2012

Boise skiers get to celebrate the end of 2012 they way they love, schussing down the slopes of Bogus Basin.

They started the year agonizingly waiting for the snow until Jan 19. It was a harbinger to four seasons of climate change brought to Idaho by the greenhouse gases each one of us contribute by our dependence on fossil fuels.

Warmer winters are one of the signs that Idaho’s climate has changed before our eyes. But change happens and the future depends on how we adapt.

Wildfires subtract from greenhouse gas sequestration on western lands

Wildland fires release more than 13 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and that could rise to 31 million in the future.

That’s just one of the findings of a U.S. Interior report issued earlier this month. The U.S. Geological Survey study found that water bodies in the West released even more carbon dioxide than fires, about 30 million tons.

Freedom in the electric world comes from who chooses

So much of the debate between renewable energy and coal has evolved around the subsidies that wind, solar, geothermal and other new technologies get.

That has made groups like the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which oppose subsidies, come down on the side of the existing technologies, which already have the front-end capital costs invested. There is both economic and political tension between existing power generation facilities and new ones.

Giant farmed salmon still face ESA consultations

What can be wrong with genetic engineering that makes farmed salmon grow faster?

The major concern environmentalists are raising is about the consequences if these "salmon on steroids" get into the natural environment.

Trout Unlimited said the Food and Drug Administration’s "finding of no significant impact" ruling on the fish salmon farmers hope to raise is premature.

Idaho Power proposes cutting programs to cut demand during peak power periods

Idaho Power want to suspend its popular A/C Cool Credit and Irrigation Peak Rewards programs because it says it has more than enough capacity to meet its needs.

By ending the programs designed to help reduce power demand during peak use periods temporarily, the investor-owned utility says it will save money for its customers. Instead it will run its coal plants, its natural gas plant on top of its hydro dams to meet the demand the two programs were preventing.

As the gun culture has changed so has the debate

In the wake of the Columbine shooting tragedy in Littleton Colorado in 1999, I wrote a column published widely, including in the Christian Science Monitor, explaining why I still loved guns.

I wrote about following my Dad, a decorated Korean War veteran, to gun shows as a kid. I recalled how he taught me to hunt on our farm. I talked about the joy of bringing a Winchester Model 12 shotgun to the shoulder and the smooth action of an old Parker double barrel.

Idaho PUC rules against Idaho Power on wind curtailment, REC ownership

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission ruled against Idaho Power’s proposed policy to curtail wind power plants.

The three-member commission said Idaho Power did not prove its case that the glut of new wind projects is costing its customers unfairly during periods of low demand.

“If the company believes that the over-supply of (wind) power presents operational problems during light-load periods then it should address this issue when it negotiates new power purchase agreements,” the Commission said in an order released today,

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