If Idaho doesn't write its own Clean Power Plan to meet new federal regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions from electric power plants, the EPA will write them for us.
That what Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's Director of the Office of Energy Resources told the House Energy, Environment and Technology Committee Thursday. The rules, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required the electricity power industry to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Idaho and the state's utilities had asked the EPA for more time, for a better crediting of the state hydroelectric power and to adjust the goals to allow the two utilities with natural gas power plants to operate efficiently. EPA shifted the deadline for 20 percent cuts from 2020 to 2022 and changed the way hydropower was credited.
Chatburn said the result is that in a trading programs with other states, Idaho will have more green power. Still, Idaho ratepayers will pay more because their get more than 30 percent of their electricity from coal-fired power plants in surrounding states.
"It appears we will have allowances that will be used in other states," Chatburn said. "It appears the state of Idaho is in pretty good shape."
It must complete its state plan by September of 2018.