Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to let the state of Idaho condemn Idaho Power Co.’s holdings, buy them and run the utility in the event of an adverse attempt to buy out the company.
“The mere fact that this legislation has been introduced … should serve as a deterrent to those who might want to take over Idaho Power,” Sen. Laird Noh, R-Kimberly, told the State Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “We’d own a power company.”
The bill, which still needs committee and full chamber approval in both houses of the Legislature, is a card the state can hold while waiting for the outcome of discussions between Gov. Phil Batt and Idaho Power.
The utility has proposed a long-term contract with the state if state officials and ratepayer groups support Idaho Power in its application to re-license its hydropower dams. Noh said he would abandon the bill if that deal is cut.
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