Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Protect Idaho by supporting HB689!

This is NOT just a south central Idaho issue!!
Yes, those of us here in the Magic Valley are VERY concerned about the threat of Sempra's placing a coal-fired plant in our region--but all Idahoans MUST be aware that it will only be a matter of time before others are proposed for YOUR region as well! There are a number of other coal-fired plants being planned for Idaho. Once Idaho opens the door, these corporations (who are unable to build in other states) will start bringing even MORE coal plants to Idaho.
We need Idaho citizens voicing support
This bill is designed to establish a two-year moratorium for approving and building coal plants in Idaho and is co-sponsored by a number of Magic Valley legislators.

It is vitally important to take some time to assess these types of projects and this bill will provide much-needed time to determine the benefits and negative impacts of coal-fired plants in our state.

Currently, a hearing on the moratorium bill (HB 689) is scheduled for March 2, 2006. (PLEASE SEND YOUR SUPPORTIVE FEEDBACK AND NOTES OF APPRECIATION TO: Representatives Block, Jaquet, Field (District 23), Smith (District 24), and Brackett - as well as Senators Coiner, Stennett, and Gannon for their bi-partisan sponsorship of this very important bill!)

The hearing is in front of the House Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee. It is VITAL that ALL Idahoans contact the individuals on the House Committee for Environment, Energy & Technology to encourage their support for the moratorium bill--ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT.

You can contact the members either individually or collectively. In addition, please contact your OWN representatives and senators and urge their support as well.

House Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology
Email All Legislators On This Committee

Or contact them individually (especially if you live in their district!)

Representative Dell Raybould - Chair , Republican
District 34, Rexburg

Representative R. J. Harwood - Vice Chair , Republican
District 2, St. Maries
Representative Jack T. Barraclough , Republican
District 33, Idaho Falls

Representative Julie Ellsworth , Republican
District 18, Boise

Representative Clete Edmunson , Republican
District 9, Fruitland

Representative Mark A. Snodgrass , Republican
District 20, Meridian

Representative R. Steve Smylie , Republican
District 15, Boise

Representative George E. Eskridge , Republican
District 1, Dover

Representative Ann Rydalch , Republican
District 32, Idaho Falls

Representative Eric Anderson , Republican
District 1, Priest Lake

Representative Stan Bastian , Republican
District 14, Eagle

Representative Russ Mathews , Republican
District 33, Idaho Falls

Representative Elaine Smith , Democrat
District 30, Pocatello

Representative Nicole LeFavour , Democrat
District 19, Boise

To learn more about this issue, contact:


Diana Rowe Pauls said...

My letter to the committee:

I will not pretend to understand how people measure impacts of certain toxins and pollutants on our water, air, soil, and health. However, it doesn't take a scientist to recognize that our society has been ignorant of the repercussions of toxins (whether related to dairies, fish hatcheries, nuclear power plants, etc.) in the past. Many of those who were not ignorant have unforgivably looked the other way in order to increase their profits. It is so difficult and expensive to clean up these messes (nuclear waste, damage to the water table and Snake River, air pollution, etc.).

Usually by the time the public recognizes the need to repair the damage, the people who created it are long gone. We are cleaning up after our grandparent's decisions (whether through ignorance or deliberate... does it matter?) and our own grandchildren will have to clean up after us.

Right now pregnant women are told to limit their diet of fish due to the impact upon their babies from the mercury they will ingest. How can we blow off mercury pollution when we already are aware of this impact? Pollutions and toxins are being researched to see how they've impacted the high rate of learning disabilities, autism, attention deficit disorders and more. How can we in good conscience approve future plants with the knowledge we DO have at this time? We should learn from the past and not repeat our mistakes.

Personally, I would prefer that before we consider allowing another toxic industry in Idaho, that we finish cleaning up the nuclear waste that has built up over the years. One toxic mess at a time, for the sake of our children.

Right now, all we are asking is for MORE TIME to research these issues and our concerns. Idaho cannot afford to take a short-term vision on this issue. Making the wrong decision can create huge problems in the long-term... for our children and our economy and our environment. Give us the time to make sure this is the right decision for Idaho, PLEASE!

Diana Rowe Pauls said...

Response from Rep. LeFavour of Boise:

Thank you so much for writing to me. I appreciate your thoughtful letter.

I have received hundreds of e-mails on the subject of the proposed Sempra coal fired plant and its mercury, sulphur, greenhouse and other harmful emissions. I am deeply concerned about these issues and the impacts of the transportation of thousands of tons of coal per day and use of up to 7,000 acre feet of water per year. This I believe is of urgent concern to all of us who care about our state and the health of its people and economy.

What we have here in Idaho is precious and unique -- clean air, water, and soil, our farms and ranches, our mountains and deserts, our small towns and way of life here in the Southern part of the state. None of this should be sacrificed for the short term economic gain of a very few.

Over the past two weeks I have worked hard to ask tough questions, debate in favor of and support Representative Block in her efforts to pass a moratorium on traditional coal technologies. I will also work hard to support Senator Stennett's's bills when they reach the House. So far we are hanging in there.

Your letters have made a great difference in raising the profile of this issue and making many legislators think twice before dismissing this issue or giving in to those here in the legislature who would like this moratorium and Senator Stennett's's siting proposal to go away.

I want to let you know of two opportunities to express your opinion on this issue right now.

1. On Thursday, March 2, at 1:30 PM on the 4th Floor of the Idaho State Capitol in Boise there will be a Committee Hearing on Rep Block's Moratorium bill H689.

You are welcome and encouraged to come and speak, to bring friends and neighbors who care about this issue. You do not have to be an expert to speak. Many of you live in the area that will be most impacted by this issue so it is your right to be heard and included in future decisions as to where, when and if such plants should be built and operated in Idaho.

If you know people in Eastern Idaho who are down wind or those in other areas who may care about this issue I urge you to contact them.

2. There are petitions circulating on this issue.
David Mead at 733-4678 has these if you'd like to sign one or gather signatures.

I'm deeply honored to serve this state as a Representative.
Please know that you are always welcome to contact me on this and other issues. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.

Representative Nicole LeFavour
Box 775 Boise ID 83701