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Eye On Boise

Energy institute for lawmakers launched

Legislators from both the U.S. and Canada will have a chance to learn all about current energy issues through a new Legislative Energy Horizon Institute launched today at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region summit meeting in Boise. Gov. Butch Otter joined University of Idaho President Duane Nellis to announce the new certification program, along with Washington House Speaker Pro-Tem Jeff Morris, D-Mt. Vernon, and Idaho state Sen. Curtis McKenzie, R-Nampa. Nellis said the institute will help prepare policy-makers for a “future that I think will be more promising as far as sustainability.”

The program will run for 18 months and result in a certificate in energy policy planning for the participating lawmakers. It’s a joint project of PNWER and the National Conference of State Legislatures, in partnership with the U of I and the U.S. Department of Energy, which is providing funding.

Energy is among the top issues that officials from both the United States and Canada are examining at the group’s annual summit meeting in Boise this week. The first keynote speaker this morning, Roger Woodworth, vice president of Avista Corp., told the several hundred delegates, “We are in an era of transition. … Our relationship with energy must and will change. … We are tremendously blessed with energy resources of all kinds here in the Pacific Northwest region - the question is how will we decide to optimize those.” He added, “If ever there was a time to be bringing policy leaders together to decide how are we going to deal with this … this is the time.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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