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Eye On Boise

Renewable energy debate: ‘Our future’

Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, debating in favor of the renewable energy rebate bill, told the House, "This is going to be our future. ... Good policy is going to be very important to address." He noted that he co-sponsored legislation several years ago to encourage renewable energy development on state endowment lands, and said, "We actually have wind development right now under construction on endowment lands. ... We are making some progress. ... The more we develop on those endowment lands, the less tax we have to pay, because those monies are dedicated to the schools." Anderson said,  "I will be supporting this bill. I'm not saying it's perfect. ... I think this is something that we need to do."

Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, said the Legislature picks "winners and losers" all the time through tax policy. "This bill has been done well, it's been done with many of the stakeholders at the table, it's been a collaborative process."

Rep. Erik Simpson, R-Idaho Falls, said, "They're multi-billion dollar corporations, ladies and gentlemen, that have found a way to game the system under PURPA. ... Yes, the wind developers create jobs and make investments in our state, but look who pays for those jobs, it's you. You're paying it through your state taxes and through your federal taxes."

Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, said, "The issue is the competition that we have with other states."

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.