We all love gazing across the vast landscapes of Idaho. When the air is clear, the views of our rugged mountains, rolling sagebrush and river canyons are incomparable. But more and more these days, a haze settles in, marring these views and making the air unhealthy to breathe. Fortunately, we see a solution on the horizon.
The Problem of Vehicle Exhaust
Vehicle exhaust is the leading cause of local air pollution and climate change in Idaho. Particulates and acid gases contribute to local ozone pollution and make our air unhealthy to breathe. And our climate is changing because of carbon pollution.
ICL knows that getting around is essential to living in a modern society and enjoying Idaho. So we are promoting a range of solutions, such as increasing funding for public transportation and encouraging city planning that makes walking and biking safe and practical.
Driving Our Way to Clean Air
Personal cars will be part of our mix for a long time. Fortunately, electric cars are quickly becoming affordable and practical. Whether they are hybrids (combining batteries and gas) or full electric cars, any reduction in fossil-fuel burning protects our local air quality and climate.
Tesla’s supercars may get the headlines, but other cars makers produce more realistic options. Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Chevy, Kia and Hyundai all make electric or hybrid cars at essentially the same price as fossil-fueled options. And the drastically cheaper maintenance and fuels costs make electric cars a realistic option today.
Charging your car is also getting easier and easier. Check out Plugshare.com to see charging stations throughout the state.
- In the Treasure Valley, employers like the United Heritage Financial Group are using incentives for Idaho Power to install charging stations.
- In eastern Idaho, Rocky Mountain Power received a $4 million grant to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure. ICL is looking to combine this opportunity with the best research on electric cars from the Idaho National Laboratory.
- Up north, Avista has an electric charging program but only in the Washington segment of its service territory. If you are a customer and interested, contact Avista and ask for the same deal in Idaho.
Protecting our air and climate is a long-term effort. ICL is excited to see growing opportunities to get out and enjoy Idaho while still reducing our footprint. You can help too!
- Walk or bike to work at least once a week.
- If you live in a community with public transportation, explore it one day and learn the ropes.
- Check out an electric car.
- Contribute to our It’d My ID campaign to support our work on climate change, including growing clean energy and transportation in Idaho.