Hot Topic: Clean Energy and a Stable Climate
Idaho’s climate is changing today. Warmer winters now mean rain instead of snow. Hot, dry summers increase wildfires, stress water supplies, and degrade fish and wildlife habitat. These changes stress Idaho’s iconic trees, birds, fish and wildlife.
To protect Idaho’s air quality and the snow that feeds our rivers, and to prevent the growing threat of wildfire, ICL will continue to clean up Idaho’s electricity through efficiency programs and replacing dirty energy with clean sources.
Clean Energy Today
About half of Idaho’s electricity comes from burning fossil fuels. Most of this dirty energy comes from large coal plants in Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. Natural gas produced—often through fracking—in the Rockies and burned here in Idaho meets our peak summertime energy demands. Burning fossil fuel releases mercury, acid gases, and particulates, and changes our climate by releasing carbon dioxide.
Not only are these dirty plants polluting our air, water and climate, but they also drain energy dollars from Idaho. Each year Idaho spend hundred of millions importing these fossil fuels. We can do better for our economy and air quality by transitioning towards Idaho’s rich wind, solar and geothermal resources.
Today, we are:
- Helping create Idaho’s first Community Solar Project. Subscribe today to 25 years of local solar power and show your support for clean energy.
- Finding solutions to close the North Valmy coal plant at least a decade early, saving Idahoans over $100 million and avoiding millions of tons of pollution.
- Helping Idahoans conserve our energy resources—by establishing strong energy saving policies, programs and incentives, all with the goal of increasing energy-efficiency.
- Working with affected communities, land managers and utilities to find appropriate places for clean energy projects like geothermal, wind, solar and new transmission lines.
- Working with regional partners to challenge coal exports and the increasing transport of highly volatile Bakken crude oil that threaten North Idaho’s health, safety and environment.
Today more than half of Idaho’s electricity comes from burning fossil fuels. Most of this dirty energy comes from large coal plants: Colstrip in Montana, Jim Bridger in Wyoming and Valmy in Nevada. Natural gas produced—often through fracking—in the Rockies and burned here in Idaho meets our peak summertime energy demands. Burning fossil fuel releases mercury, acid gases and particulates, and changes our climate by releasing carbon dioxide.
Every year Idahoans spend hundreds of millions of dollars burning dirty fossil fuels from other states. We can do better by transitioning towards Idaho’s rich wind, solar and geothermal resources.
Clean Energy Has Numerous Benefits
- Clean energy sources emit no greenhouse gases so do not contribute to global warming.
- They emit no harmful pollutants to our air and water supplies.
- Unlike coal- or natural gas-power plants, wind, solar and geothermal use local and free fuel supplies.
- They help grow rural economies by creating jobs and contributing to the local tax base.
- Using local resources requires fewer transmission lines.
Protecting Scenic and Wildlife Values
ICL wants scenic and wildlife values protected, too. We support the creation of a statewide siting authority to identify areas where renewable energy should be built, and to protect areas that have important wildlife or cultural value.
- Wind farms can impact sage grouse and other wildlife, so ICL works with developers to avoid important habitat.
- Solar and wind farms can cover existing habitat, so ICL pushes developers onto already impacted lands, such as landfills, old mines or other brownfields.
- Geothermal can impact hotsprings and other aquifers, so ICL encourages closed loop systems that recycle the water.
For any project ICL works to ensure the impacts are minimized and fully mitigated.
Tips for You
Here are some tips for what YOU can do to make a difference in your own home:
- Easy ways to make your home heating more efficient
- Save on water heating bills, save energy, save our climate
- How to have comfortable and clean air in your home
What You Can Do
Become a member today and protect the Idaho you love!