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Entries in Idaho (2)


Thou Shall Not Pass

New York Times

An interesting story from The New York Times. The details of the story have me shaking my head.

It appears that in Idaho a small group of residents are trying to block construction equipment from using public roads for transportation. The equipment is coming from Washington State through Idaho and Montana and ending up in Canada. What is on these loads that is drawing the ire of the local residents you ask? Is it toxic material? Is it nuclear waste? It is neither; the loads are large metal modules headed to the tar sands of Canada.

The problem the activist say are two fold. First, they believe the passing of these loads through areas near rivers will damage the scenic vistas of those vacationing and living on these areas. Secondly, they don't like the fact that the shipments are headed to tar sand developments in Canada which in their opinion are bad for the environment. On the first objection I would agree that the site of these big trucks would not be the most visually appealing thing to look at. I know the country up there is beautiful and that locals take pride in that beauty. However, what gives them the right to stop commerce on public roads? Again we are not talking about toxic or nuclear waste, we are talking about big metal boxes. Secondly, just because they don't like the destination of the equipment is no reason to say it can't pass. If you don't want to see big trucks on public roads, move somewhere else. You don't like energy from oil sands, don't purchase a car or anything made from the products derived from them.

I bring this up because it goes back to what I feel is the non-sensical approach taken by some when it comes to energy. They love to use it and the products made from it, but hate the product itself or where it comes from and how it is extracted. The comment by one of the opponents who says that tar sands are the biggest generator of climate change on the planet is absolute nonsense and I am not sure why the comment was even included in the article. People need to wake up to the fact that we need energy to run this country and run this planet. I am all for green technologies if we can find some to replace what we get from fossil fuels. Until them, small bands of energy deniers trying to block public roads from being used by people they don't like is absurd.


Idaho Tapping Into Wind


Idaho is investing in wind and doing it on a grand scale. The opening of a 10,000 acre wind farm is the first of what I presume will be many wind farms throughout the region. Governor Otter made some keys points about the project. The first being that Idaho was going to make use of all it's resources. I applaud the governor for being forward thinking regarding energy and not taking any solutions of the table. Secondly, he rightly recognizes that the project will add JOBS to the region. This quote sums it up:

"The renewable energy industry is breathing new life into the Idaho frontier. We're aggressively harnessing our abundant natural resources for growth because that helps our economy, generating not only electricity but career opportunities right here at home."

The project is both a private/public initiative using funds from a US Treasury Grant for renewable energy. However, the grant is set to expire at the end of the year. It is not clear whether this affects the project or if the funding for completion is already in place. All I know is this one of the first positive things I have seen my tax dollars applied to in quite some time.