It’s not an acronym. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, really is wearing a shiny gold lapel pin spelling out “COAL,” as the debate rages in southern Idaho about mercury pollution and other issues surrounding a proposed coal-fired power plant in Jerome County. Legislation is pending to impose a two-year moratorium and take other steps regarding the proposed plant.
Anderson said he’s wearing his pin as “a little bit of a protest.” He said he also has pins that say “NUCLEAR,” “HYDRO,” and “WIND,” and he’s been wearing a different one each day. A member of the House Energy, Environment & Technology Committee, Anderson said he’s been getting lots of calls and emails opposing one type of energy or another, but believes what Idaho really needs is an integrated energy plan – to be developed by a proposed interim legislative committee – that addresses all aspects of the issue. “We have to figure out what we need and what we can do,” he said. “That’s why we need an integrated energy plan.”