"Idaho's Power Line Route Reveals Clashing Values, Dueling Processes"

"No matter who wins the election Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management is going to have to thread a needle to find routes Idaho Power Co. and Rocky Mountain Power can use for the Gateway West power line across southern Idaho."

"The decision to toss out two routes across the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey area that had been negotiated by the involved parties has brought ire from local, state and national Idaho politicians. At the same time, it has brought praise from a national environmental group seeking to preserve the protections of the landscape-conservation system that includes the Birds of Prey area.

This flap doesn’t even touch on the strong opposition to the route across private lands in Power and Cassia counties.The line was first designed to provide more access to Utah and West markets for Wyoming’s coal-powered electric generation.

In the meantime, Rocky Mountain Power and others have developed hundreds of megawatts of wind energy in Wyoming and Idaho. The completion of the line could resolve at least some of Idaho Power’s feud with developers of wind and alternative energy because the utility can make money wheeling power over its lines from wind plants to other utilities."

Rocky Barker reports for the Idaho Statesman November 5, 2012.

Source: Idaho Statesman, 11/06/2012