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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Eskridge: ‘Wind is free’

Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, responding to questions from Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, told the House, "Wind is a benefit to the ratepayer, because it costs less." Fuel costs are nil, he said, compared to utilties' current "resource of preference," natural gas, because "wind is free." He said, "I don't think an increase in wind is going to increase our rates. In fact, I think it'll help keep our rates down."

Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, said, "Base load is what we really ought to be after, not intermittent." He said, "When are we willing to say we are not gonna subsidize it with taxpayers' dollars and let the free market dictate what we need? I will be voting against it." Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, said, "We are talking about getting an industry started. We're still in the process of doing that."

Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, said, "There are aspects in here I would support. ... This is a tough decision." He said, "I think that the Legislature does have to take action in this arena on the tax policy and on the energy policy, and on the siting issue ... however, I'm not able to support it as presented in this package."

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said, "What I've been really interested in is the creation of green jobs. I think as a Legislature have an obligation to try and create jobs for those 74,000 that are unemployed. ... I'll be supporting this legislation. I think this has been a lot of hard work here."


Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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