BLM approval of the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission line (B2H) is only one step among many before Idaho Power hopes to begin construction of the B2H. The company has permission to cross BLM land. That is less than half the length of the line. Next they face the USFS, OPUC, Oregon’s EFSC and, if all those bureaucratic hurdles are cleared, then likely lawsuits by the Oregon California Trail Association, STOP B2H Coalition, and agricultural and residential property owners.
Hundreds of pages of substantial comments have already been filed with these agencies, highlighting Idaho Power’s flawed risk analysis structure and projections of energy needs biased towards greater consumption, even though across the nation and in Idaho energy consumption has decreased. Sierra Club noted, “This is a justification, not an analysis.” Stop B2H maintains that Idaho Power has not adequately addressed the uncertainty of future energy prices and transmission costs. Data has been selected to support building a transmission line. That’s how utilities make money — building things. A guaranteed 6.7 percent profit on $1.2 billion will benefit shareholders at the expense of ratepayers. The line will be obsolete before it’s completed. It must be stopped.
Fuji Kreider, La Grande, Ore.