Craig Mountain Today
Craig Mountain Today
But for how long???
fgrv logo

header text 2

Craig Mountain Simulation
Craig Mtn simulation with turbines
view south toward Ramo Flats
Action Alerts & Announcements
also check Calendar & Events for details


If you have any experience regarding weeds, roads, water, geography, wet lands,
wildlife, archeology, historic sites, recreation, etc. let the city or county know!

contact 
    stopb2h@gmail.com

May 5, 2018   9:30 AM - 3 PM Oregon Trail artifacts & trails  /
     OCTA (Oregon - California Trails Association) Conference @ EOU
Swindle
                billboard at Rufus x600
prevent our wildlife - health - environment - economy
from being thrown to the wind!
Your generous donations . . .
help us educate the public about the
true impact of wind energy.  


Please send your donations to:   
FGRV
PO Box 116
Union, OR 97883
Make your check payable to FGRV.* 
For more info call 541-910-8263
* As a 501 (c)(3) donations are tax deductible
FGRV Radio Ads
1     2     3     4     5
Mother Nature   
Bad Neighbors
 
Health   
No SIP
  
3% Energy Challenge


more info                   
56 worldwide experiences 

Energy facts & figures
compliments of Irene
          Energy and the Taxpayer
Federal subsidies for electric power by
source, fiscal 2010

                       Total             Dollars per
                (in millions of $)   megawatt hour
                    
Oil and Gas        $654            $0.64
Hydropower         215             0.82
Coal                  1,189             0.64
Nuclear              2,499             3.14
Solar                     968         775.64
Wind                  4,986           56.29

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy and Institute for Energy Research, 2011
reprinted in Wall Street Journal
August 17, 2012

FGRV challenge ad
3 % Challenge Begins
in Front Yards Across
Grande Ronde Valley

blue not green

Hawkish on wind 
TAKE THE FGRV 3% CHALLENGE!

CONSERVE 3% & PREVENT
our wildlife - health - environment - economyfrom being thrown to the wind!

A few tips to conserve energy ...
  • Reduce your usage of what you already operate.
  • Plug your appliances and electronic equipment into a smart strip and when you're not using them,  simply turn off the smart strip.
  • Wash your clostes in cold water.
  • Run only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Air dry dishes rather than using heated drying cycle.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°.
"Energy efficiency is still the best buy ..." NW Power Council 

* In the U.S., the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind's share of electricity porduction will be less than one percent in 2030.  http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html
      Listen Sunday  4-5 PM pst 
  WIND WISE RADIO

Tools to Use


"I've taken the 3% Challenge"  
Print, distribute,  fill out, stamp & mail to FGRV

3% Energy Challenge   Money in the Pocket  You have permission to use our radio ads
 
FGRV 3% Challenge flier 
Print and distribute to others, mail them, hand them out  

3% Challenge Yard Signs
Call 541-568-4585 to get a sign

prevent our wildlife - health - environment - economy from being thrown to the wind!

PROTECT it Now
or we will lose ...
  • The Oregon Trail
  • 75 Golden Eagles observed
  • Native Indian archaelogical sites
  • Home of Redband Trout
  • Pristine view of Craig Mountain
  • 58 Active Raptor nests
  • Pathway for migratory birds to Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area
  • 154 combined wetlands, streams and forested areas
  • Rare plants including extremely rare Oregon Semaphore Grass
  • Habitat for resident and migratory bats and birds
  • Winter range for Elk, Antelope and Deer
  • Home of Eagles, Hawks, and Woodpeckers

FGRV Yard Sale nets $875

During Union's Grassroots Festival on August 13th FGRV added $875 to its war chest for 
future projects and possibly legal actions in its continuing fight to keep more wind industrial complexes out of the Grande Ronde Valley.

A bake sale and information table provided a little extra benefit to those stopping by for a good deal.  Of course the best deal was the printed info and SWINDLE bumper stickers that were handed out. 

Thanks to energetic FGRV members headed by orgainizer Bonnie Dunn more people have joined the fight while these funds were raised.
 
* Grassroots Festival provided another venue for the 'grassroots' efforts of FGRV. 

* Union was highlighted as Oregon's 'Volunteer Town' in a PBS documentary several years ago.  FGRV members continue the volunteer tradition by giving their time, talent and treasure to protect the Grande Ronde Valley.  

Protected eagle halts
Eastern Oregon
wind farms

Eagle
                  x200

by Ted Sickinger The Oregonian 9-29-10

    The endangered golden eagle has grounded the first wind farm in Wasco County and is throwing another in Gilliam County into doubt.
read the rest of the article

turbine lightning
                    strikes again
Lightening Strikes Again
Idaho Power website gives
up todate info on what wind

actually brings to the consumer -
higher rates. 
 
 

Find the following articles at getpluggedin.com

Idaho House, Senate Request
Changes to PURPA
by Michael Foley, Idaho Power

Ontario'w Wind Policy Blows
by Rob Granatstein, The Toronto Sun

Are Tax Incentives for Commercial Wind Farms Good for Idaho?
by Steve Priebe,
Idahoans for Responsible Energy Policy

Idaho Senate kills much-debated
energy rebate extension ...
by John Miller, Daily Reporter April 7, 2011 www.greenfieldreporter.com

excerpt:  “We already give them massive federal subsidies,” Christensen told The Associated Press after the vote. “If they can’t survive on those alone, they should not have any more of our taxpayer dollars.”
read the entire article


Editors note:  several attempts by Idaho's grassroots groups failed but they finally suceeded! 
Our Congratulations to them for their efforts, and determination and victory.

  A cruel truth ~~ There will be very few permanent jobs created once the wind factory has been built.  The hype is usually about the jobs during the short construction period; nevertheless, the bulk of construction is typically completed by labor imported into the area.

Wind power is a technological, economic
and environmental failure." 
John Droz, Physicist

Wind farms are not farms ...
they don't grow anything.
We call them factories.

Turbine Ablaze
turbine ablaze

Call, write, email
our county commissioners
and tell them

STOP wind power in Union County


Steve McClure
smcclure@union-county.org

Mark Davidson
mdavidson@union-county.org

Bill Rosholt
brosholt@union-county.org

1106 K Avenue
La Grande, Oregon 97850
phone: 541-963-1001
Fax: 541-963-1079


How is this green?
In Baotou, China, where neodymium is extracted, a vast man-made lake of foul-smelling radioactive waste, five-miles wide, has been created from the by-product.  It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy.  One of the largest users is a top- capacity wind turbine that uses 4,400 lbs. of the neodymium-based permanent magnet material.

In advisory vote,
eastern Oregon

residents reject
proposed wind farm
by Bill Rautenstrauch / The Observer 11-3-10

By a slim majority Tuesday, Union County voters said they don't like the idea of Horizon Wind Energy building the 300-megawatt Antelope Ridge Wind Farm near Union. 

Excerpted from the article Dennis Wilkinson, the head of Friends of Grande Ronde Valley said:  "With the defeat of Measure 31-75, the people of Union County have made an informed and educated decision that they do not want the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in their community."  ... the vote will "resonate throughout the country proving that people in rural communities are standing up to the foreign corporations that are attempting to destroy the land, way of life, wildlife, health and more in the name of 'clean, renewable energy."
click to read entire article   
thanks to www.wind-watch.org

           ~~~~~~~~                                     
Union County
Election Results
  
November 2, 2010   
  Totals 11/03/10  3:16 AM  All 19 Precincts Counted  70.98 voter turnout   total ballots cast  10,810
Measure 31-75 
"Do the citizens of Union County support the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm application currently before the Oregon Department of Energy?"  
Yes 5,060 votes (48.09%)  
NO 5,462 VOTES (51.91%)

ECONOMIC IMPACT
OF OREGON'S RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD

A Beacon Hill Institute & Cascade Policy Institute Policy Study     March 2011
David G. Tuerck, PhD   
Michael Head, MSEP    
Paul Bachman, MSIE

This study takes into account a variety of factors and their effects to Oregon's employment, costs to industry and the public. 

excerpts from Executive Summary: 
Since renewable energy generally costs more than conventional energy, may have voiced concerns about highter elecrticity rates.  Moreover, since Oregon has a liited ability to generate new renewable energy, the state will start from a low power generation base.  In addition,m some renewable energy sources (wind and solar power in particular) require the installation of conventional backup generation capacity for cloudy, windless days.  The need for this backup further boosts the cost of renewable energy.

Oregonians will begin to see these higher costs on their electric bill this year.  Pacific Power and Portland General Electric Implemented rate increases (in some cases double-digit percentage increases) directly tied to SB 838.    read the entire study

Taxpayers subsidize
wind power at $23.34 per MWH,
natural gas at 25¢ per MWH,
coal at 44¢, and
hydro power at 67¢.

Tax dollars still blowing in the wind

by The Oregonian Editorial Board www.oregonlive.com March 15, 2011

excerpt:  Oregon has stopped throwing money at anyone who mouths the magic words:  "Green energy."  But a three-part series in The Oregonian made it clear this week that the state must further tighten the rules --- and the oversight --- of its Business Energy Tax Credit program.

excerpt:  Given the enormous cost, the green subsidies demand stronger scrutiny from lawmakers, the governor and the public than they've received.  Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski's energy policy --- y'all come --- ignored the mounting cost until hundreds of millions of dollars were committed, no small amount of it to companies that failed to live up to the promises of jobs, economic development and green energy.

excerpt:  ... If we're going to toss $300 million to green energy developers every two years, we should know exactly what we're getting in return. 
click to read the entire article

The proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Factory will have 164 towers, 40 stories tall and will destroy 47,000 acres sensitive wildlife habitat.
Materials used in the factory will be:
  • 4,723 tons of non-biodegradable fiberglass blades
  • 139,400 gallons of petroleum-based oil
  • 66,155 cubic yards of concrete*
  • 46,000 tons of steel and rebar
  *Did you know?
Concrete production is one of the most energy intensive of all
manufacturing processes  and accounts for 5-10% of the world's CO² emissions?

Reasons for projected OTEC

rate increases in 2011

thanks to Super Talk Radio
KLBM 1450 
www.otecc.com  Pod Casts 9-16-10

Werner Buehler, OTEC's General Manager, and Steve Schauer, OTEC's Manager of Member Services discuss a BPA wholesale rate increase scheduled for October 2011.
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Part 1, length 8:25
Part 2, length 9:52

When Green Subsidies are gone this is what is left!

Komoa wind farm abandoned
Komoa wind farm abandoned

Komoa
                    abandoned
Komoa view

The Gas Is Greener
by Robert Bryce June 7, 2011
published in The New York Times


With all the 10's of thousands of wind towers that are scheduled to be erected   throughout the US, it has been estimated that they will only provide less than 3% of our energy production.

Since wind's potential contribution is so small, modest conservation would avoid the adverse impacts of wind energy development, according to National Wind Watch.

Oregon green energy tax breaks
face sweeping changes, cutbacks

Harry Esteve  June 9, 2011
published in The Oregonian

Editors note:  This article discusses Oregon House Bill 3671

excerpt:  "As written, the bill would stop the practice of subsidizing half the construction cost of wind and solar energy developers, who receive tens of missions of dollars worth of tax credit."
Here's the link to the full article

Type B Amendment = No Public Comment on Additions
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst 4-26-18
included are 2 PDFs Irene sent to Energy Facility Siting Council

Since the Oregon Department of Energy developed their new Amendment rules, they decide what amendment process to go through before the public is even told anything about what they are doing.  The new rules also say that the public has no right to appeal the decision that is made regarding what amendment procedure is used.

In the Type B Amendment process that developers request there is no opportunity for the public to ask for a contested case.  If the public disagrees with the decision that the Oregon Department of Energy makes on any items the public has to appeal directly to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Let's all hope that the appeal of the new rules that has been filed by nine groups regarding the removal of the public from the "public processes" is heard soon and the groups win.

PDF re: significant adverse impacts of Wheatridge wind development's request for Type B Amendment
PDF re: significant adverse impacts of NextEra Energy / Stateline wind development's request for Type B Amendment

Todd and Janine:
I am requesting that the attached two documents (links above) be provided to the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) regarding that these requests of amendments by developers be processed as Type B Amendments.

Isabell Hernandez and Senator Olsen:
Please see that these two documents (links above) are posted and available to the members of your committee.  They are examples of the types of requests that are being made for the use of the Type B Amendment Procedure which denies the public the opportunity to have a contested case procedure.  If these requests are approved, the only opportunity the public will have to object to the decisions of the Oregon Department of Energy and Energy Facility Siting Council decisions will be by filing an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals at exorbitant cost to any member of the public or public agency who does not agree with the decisions made. 

All of a sudden there is a major increase in requests for changes without filing any amendment request, as well as these types. The new Amendment Rules seem to be encouraging developers to file amendments   It appears there will be a significant increase in the Oregon Department of Energy budget since there are now 10 developments being reviewed by the Energy Facility Siting Division and they will be collecting the costs of their work from all of them.  I would think the legislature would want to exert some control over the agency writing rules that increase their budget absent any control by the legislature or the public since these increased energy costs will be passed on to the consumers.



B2H OCTA poster

OCTA Conference (Oregon California Trail Association)  @ EOU May 5, 2018
submitted by Stop B2H   4-3-18 

Artifacts and Tales of the Trail, celebration of the Oregon Trail
Saturday, May 5, 9:30 AM - 3 PM at EOU's Huber Auditorium.

Tales of Oregon Trail travelers and of Ezra Meeker, who committed yeas to preserving evidence of the beloved trail, will be brought to life. 

Sharon Hohstadt, past president of Union County's Museum Board, will display and discuss artifacts brought by early Union County families.  Current efforts to preserve the trail in our area will be recognized. $15 for a day of fascinating local history includes a deli lunch.  Sponsored by Oregon California Trail Association.

Calendar & Events has location and more info on this event.
Union Commissioners Work Shop on Article 52
ARTICLE 52.00 Commercial Wind Power Generation Faciity Siting Requirements
from Ray Randall 04-17-18

Our Union County Commissioners held a work session on April 11 during which Article 52 was discussed.  I feel obligated to report on it.

Scott Hartell (Union County planner) introduced the matter and asked that the commission provide some guidance.  He acknowledged that a group of '4 citizens' had offered a new draft of Article 52 and one part of that draft called for a two-mile setback between any wind tower and any residence.  Scott had used GIS mapping with all residences super-imposed for the whole county to demonstrate that the setbacks would mean there likely would be only a couple of significant spots of several hundred acres each available for wind projects.  He also provided a map showing wildlife restrictions for ODFW Category I and Category II Habitat which our group or '4 citizens' believes should be avoided at all cost.  Both maps were provided to the commissioners but no one else.  Generally speaking, the commission expressed some concern that the two-mile setback may not be "doable" but they made no decision.  

The '4 citizens' voiced opinions to the commission and Scott Hartell.  None of that generated much discussion.

Ultimately the county people agreed that Scott should invite the group of  '4 citizens' in for a discussion to fully understand our varying positions.  So we are not exactly encouraged, but not ready to concede, either.  

We have no idea how soon Scott may want to talk.  We see no advantage in rushing it at this time  In the meantime I will request multiple copies of both of the county maps that were mentioned earlier.

Ray Randall       member of  Friends of Grande Ronde Valley (FGRV) 

submitted by Stop B2H  4-3-18

ACTION ALERT!

Write Now: Oregon Public Utility Commission!

 

 

a 300 mile invasive 500kv transmission line across Eastern Oregon

 

Please submit a Letter to the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) on

Idaho Power’s Plan for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line

(Subject:  Idaho Power IRP—docket# LC68)

 

B2H before &
                                              after entering LG B2H Heli tower repair


Submit your letter electronically to:

puc.commission@state.or.us  and
cc: the commissioners directly at:

Lisa.Hardie@state.or.us; Stephen.Bloom@state.or.us; Megan.Decker@state.or.us

or, snail mail:
Public Utility Commission of Oregon 

PO Box 1088 
Salem, OR 97308-1088 

 

Tips for Letter Writing:

·         Address your letter to the Oregon Public Utility Commission as a whole; and copy each Commissioner.

·         Subject:  Idaho Power 2017 IRP (LC68)

·         Choose one or more points from the “Talking Points” (linked.) Best to use your own words!

Be respectful and address the commissioners as someone that can solve our problem. E.g.: “I am concerned that in Idaho Power’s 2017 IRP (LC68), they have/have not….  (tip: OPUC is primarily concerned with costs and risk.)  If you prefer a sample letter, write to us: stopb2h@gmail.com we can help! An addressed template is below.

·         Request/Closing:  Ask the commissioners to Not Acknowledge Action Item #6 which says, "Conduct preliminary construction activities, acquire long-lead materials, and construct the B2H project."  Idaho Power further states, "The Commission's acknowledgement of Idaho Power's acquisition of B2H in the Action Plan will serve as the Company's satisfaction of EFSC's "Need" standard under its Least Cost Plan Rule." Acknowledging action Item #6 will begin construction of the B2H. That would not be a prudent decision considering all of the questionable data and outdated information used by the company in its IRP plan. (Also, based on your points, above, you may request that they reconsider other Idaho Power planning data and information.)

·         Recognize the Commissioners as our (potential) “heroes & defenders” They are the only ones who can protect our interests in Oregon!  Our interests are: clean energy, clean air & no coal; energy efficiency & conservation; a distributed grid, low cost & low risk electricity for ratepayers; and protecting our farms & timber resources; and our strong pioneering, Oregon Trail heritage and identity!

 

·         Copy your letter to Ruchi Sadhir (Governor Brown’s Energy Policy Advisor): Ruchi.SADHIR@oregon.gov  and to each of your State legislators.   Their addresses are here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html 

or, for quick reference to most of our readers:  (Umatilla & Union) Sen.BillHansell@oregonlegislature.gov; Rep.GregBarreto@oregonlegislature.gov; (Baker & Malheur) Sen.CliffBentz@oregonlegislature.gov;

Rep.LynnFindley@oregonlegislature.gov

Please, send us a copy of your letter too J - you can submit to us anonymously if you prefer.

 

Write TODAY!

Template:

Filed via email to puc.commission@state.or.us and to Commissioners Lisa.Hardie@state.or.us, stephen.bloom@state.or.us, and megan.decker@state.or.us

 


 

March XX, 2018

 

Commissioner Hardie, Bloom, and Decker

Public Utility Commission of Oregon 
PO Box 1088 
Salem, OR 97308-1088 

 

Subject: Idaho Power 2017 IRP (LC68)

 

Dear Commissioners Hardie, Bloom, and Decker,

 

Insert your text ....  (see “Talking Points” - click here.)


Sincerely,

your name

and address here



More about Article 52 discussions
March 22, 2018 by Ray Randall

Article 52 is our (Union) county guideline for the siting of any wind farm in Union County.  It will be reanalyzed and modified in the near future.  The County Commission has indicated that they will set some parameters for this process in a work session on April 11, 2018 beginning at 9:00 am and there will be an opportunity for public comment.  The Commission has not yet publicized its April 11th agenda which is not very helpful.  But, for those of us who wish to have a say about wind farms, we must prepare for this potential now.  

The Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley is inviting all interested citizens to an information-sharing session at the Cook Library Community Room on Thursday, April 5, 2018.  The doors will open at 5:30 pm and we hope to finish by 7:00 pm.  If you have concerns about the trashing of our open spaces, please attend.

Ray Randall

Article 52 Proposed Additions / Changes
Submitted to Union County Commissioners
2-24-18 authored by Jed Farmer, John Milbert, Chuck LeBold, Ray Randall; sent to Commissioners January 2018


Union County Article 52  "Therefore, the purpose of this ordinance is to clarify existing rules governing the siting and development of wind generators with the intention to encourage wind power renewable energy resource development."
Proposed Additions / Changes to current Article 52 was Submitted to Union County Commissioners January 2018 by authors Jed Farmer, John Milbert, Chuck LeBold and Ray Randall as members and on behalf of Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley. 
    Set backs is a major part of the proposed changes.  Currently set backs are 1500 feet.  Umatilla County has increased their set back to 2 miles.     
    County Commissioners Work Session April 11th 9 AM agenda will be The Proposed Additions / Changes.  Location of the meeting is Joseph Annex Building 1106 K Ave., La Grande, Oregon. 


public comment for submission for SB 1519 and SB 1537
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst February 5, 2018
included is PDF Irene sent to Senator Beyer and Committee members


I am providing this submission to you as my previous comments were written under the belief that these rules were going to remove rule making from the Energy Facility Siting Division and Energy Facility Siting Council. 

Unfortunately, as I found out during public comments today, they exclude this group.  The bills are positive, unfortunately, they do not include the worst offenders.  I certainly hope there is some effort to address the Siting Division this session rather than continuing to allow ODOE to work for developers at the expense of the public.

As long as the governor continues to appoint people to the Energy Facility Siting Council like Marcia Grail who currently works for IBEW 125 and their retirement fund, the only possible way to get a neutral evaluation of developments is through removing control over portions of the process from the Oregon Department of Energy.  I question how impartial a person can be who knows that every time she votes to approve a development, she is making jobs for her employer.  Perhaps someone can find out who vetted Marcia and why they did not question the conflict of interest, or why the governor has insisted that this does not pose a conflict of interest.


Wishing you peace
December 30, 2017

 

Energy Department and council
under fire for cutting out public

from The Oregonian  12-13-17
read the full article in The Oregonian
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/12/energy_department_and_council.html

Excerpt:
    The state panel responsible for siting large energy facilities is under fire for adopting rules that conservation groups and others say will limit transparency and cut the public out of decisions.   ...
    In the end, critics say it's another example of the dysfunctional Energy Department ignoring the public interest, interpreting rules and statues unlawfully, and cozying up to the industry that pays its bills.   ...
    Irene Gilbert, a La Grande resident and researcher for the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley, has opposed numerous windfarms in Eastern Oregon based on their impacts on wildlife, wetlands, noise levels, and their visibility from towns or areas designated as wild and scenic. She says the council, at the recommendation of the Energy Department, has denied every one of her requests for a contested case. By her count, the council has rejected more than 80 requests for contested cases and not granted a single one.  ...
   "They control the whole process, and their determination over and over again is no significant impact," she said. "They get paid by the applicants. They bill for every hour of work on an application, then charge developers to monitor projects. So, in effect, they're working for the applicant."   ...   


FGRV meeting 2 PM December 14, 2017
posted 12-9-17
 
Agenda includes Updates on ODOE / EFSC activity & county Article 52 status.
See date on Calendar & Events page for more info
Location is downstairs at Union Library in City Park on Main Street

THE OREGON PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
WILL HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING November 2nd

IN ONTARIO, OREGON ON IDAHO POWER’S APPLICATION TO BUILD THE BOARDMAN TO HEMINGWAY (B2H) TRANSMISSION LINE
from B2H coalition 10-28-17


DATE &TIME: Thursday Nov 2nd 6:00 PM,
Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario, Oregon

Taking Public Comments:
This isthe only meeting that the Oregon PUC
will hold away from Salem.
They are doing that because you can be affected
 and you should have your say.

Early next year, the Oregon PUC will be deciding
whether to accept Idaho Power’s resource plan.
That plan says that electric demand is growing in the
Idaho Power service area. It isn’t as you can see below:
Transmission Tower


Idaho Power’s own sales figures show that demand has been flat for ten years. You will pay if the line is ever built, and you will also pay Idaho  Power a guaranteed profit for building it. Come to the meeting to voice your concerns to the members and staff of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. It’s very important and they want to hear from you.

THIS IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF HEARD: Idaho Power customers will pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a line that may never be needed.
For more information, contact: stopb2h@gmail.com
August 23, 2017 Meeting 6 PM
Union County & City of La Grande 2nd Joint Public Meeting

on location of B2H Transmission Line

The Union County Commissioners and City of La Grande are hosting a second Boardman to Hemingway siting meeting. It will be on Wednesday, August 23rd at 6 pm in the Blue Mountain Conference Center (aka the Armory). Since we had over 140 people at the last meeting they are moving the event to the big conference room. We’d like to fill the room to express our support for our elected representatives in letting Idaho Power know that their transmission line is not welcome here!

The county and city are in the process of reviewing Idaho Power’s application for “completeness” and there are huge gaps in the application. We have found many areas where Idaho Power has missed key information that should be considered by the State of Oregon before determining that the application is complete. Heck they didn't even know we have a helipad at the hospital for life-flight. Their report does not describe in detail the 100+ miles of new or improved roads they want to build; nor proper weed or fire protection plans. And the list of incompleteness goes on…

At the meeting the city/county will inform us on the work that they have done so far and they are asking for all of us to help. YES, asking us to help! The application is HUGE and there is a limited amount of time to submit comments to the state.

If you have any experience regarding weeds, roads, water, geography, wet lands, wildlife, archeology, historic sites, recreation, etc. let the city or county know!

The full application is on Union County web site at http://union-county.org/b2h-amended-preliminary-application-for-site-certificate/ If you have any knowledge in any of these areas, please get involved!

There will be future opportunities for public comment as the state process progresses over this coming year. We need to make sure that the state considers everything that could negatively impact our homes and our environment. We need to be heard and our elected representatives want to hear from us – how often does that happen ;-)!

For more information:  Contact Union County directly 541-963-1001;
or, Stop B2H Coalition: stopb2h@gmail.com

Pass the Word!  Forward this email & look forward to seeing you there!  -Stop B2H Coalition


August 14th meeting in Baker County Commissioners' Chamber
JOINT PUBLIC MEETING

ON IDAHO POWER’S APPLICATION TO BUILD

  B2H Transmission Line

DATE AND TIME:  Monday, August 14th, 2017 at 5:00 pm at the Baker County Commissioners’ Chamber, Baker County Courthouse

The County and City have until September 1 to make comments before Idaho Power’s application is accepted as complete by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE).  The county and city want to know your opinion about the impacts this transmission line will have on the valley and YOU.  Idaho Power is only notifying landowners within 500 feet of these steel giants, which they are planning. 

The line will enter the valley from Ladd  Canyon by I-84 coming into Baker County; travels due south along the eastern edge of irrigated, agricultural fields and passes west (in front of) the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center; then continues south to Durkee and Huntington, and passes east of the Oywhee Reservoir into Idaho. 

Come to the meeting to talk to our elected officials with your questions/opinions and conditions you want to see them recommend. 

THIS IS THE TIME TO EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS regarding impacts to views, wildlife, police and fire, noise, traffic, groundwater, flooding, agricultural and forest impacts such as invasive weeds, setbacks from homes, the Oregon Trail, including the viewscape impact from the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and historical resources, etc. 

For more information, contact:   stopb2h@gmail.com


SAVE THE DATE!  
            

AUGUST 1ST @ 6pm 
       

MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!

 

Union County & City of La Grande
Joint Public Meeting

on

Idaho Power’s
Amended Preliminary Application
for Site Certificate


for Boardman to Hemingway
Transmission Line (B2H)


transmission tower &
                                      lines
 

Last week, the Oregon Department of Energy informed local government units along the B2H route that they would have until September 1st to comment on the “completeness” of Idaho Power’s Amended Application for a “Site Certificate” (or, in other words, the application for a permit for the right of way to build B2H.)  There are NO public hearings at this stage of the game in the Oregon siting process but there will be later in this process.  However, Union County and the City of La Grande have graciously agreed to conduct their own public meeting to solicit input from citizens, before they comment on the application

The meeting will be starting at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 1st at the Blue Mtn Conference Center (aka Armory) at 404 12th Street in La Grande.  PLEASE Mark your calendars NOW!

The County and City have until Sept. 1 to make comments before Idaho Powers application is accepted as complete by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE).  The county and city want to know your opinion about the impacts this transmission line with have on the valley and you. Idaho Power is only notifying landowners within 500 feet of these steel giants which they are planning.   

The line will enter the valley from the west where the current 230 kv does then run behind the hospital, over Morgan Lake road, and follow the foothills alongside Ladd Marsh, visible to all, and out Ladd Canyon by I-84.

Come to the meeting to talk to our elected officials with your questions/opinions and conditions you want to see them recommend. THIS IS THE TIME TO EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS regarding impacts to views, wildlife, police and fire, noise, traffic, Ladd Marsh, groundwater, flooding, agricultural and forest impacts such as invasive weeds, setbacks from homes, the Oregon Trail, historical resources, etc.

The format will be informal in that no decisions will be made and there will be no strict times for speaking—more of a listening session—according to Commissioner McClure.  He wants to hear from everyone!  He says now is the time to put all of your concerns on the table about the B2H and/or the sighting application. He has asked Idaho Power to come and present too.  They will have their maps and renderings—probably similar to what we showed you in our last Stop B2H newsletter, but fancier (if you did not receive our newsletter—or couldn’t open it, please contact us right away.)

The Stop B2H Coalition’s research working group is meeting this week to coordinate our research and writing for the citizen portfolio that we will be submitting soon to the Public Utility Commissions of Idaho and Oregon (PUC's) – AND – also to prepare for this meeting!  At this stage, it is important to let the public officials know:

·         What you think the city and county should be looking for in the application for completeness.*

·         What conditions you want them to insist will be in the Site Certificate (if one is granted.) 

·         And, of course: What is important to You!

We hope to post some talking points for everyone later in the week. However, the main thing is to show up!  Speak from the heart (or mind) and tell your story.  You do not need to be an expert.  However, if you would like to prepare more yourself, here is the link to the Amended Application:  http://union-county.org/b2h-amended-preliminary-application-for-site-certificate/ 

It is overwhelming!  So, a tip for review would be:  go to the Chapter/Exhibit that you are interested in; read the section that you have an interest (or the geographic areas you're interested in); and see if they have covered your concerns.  This will make your reading shorter & directly in line with your interests.

For more information:  Contact Union County directly 541-963-1001; or, Stop B2H Coalition: stopb2h@gmail.com


Two proposed DOE rule amendments below
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst February 13, 2017

Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) Public hearings February 23 and 24, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 8:30am – 5:00pm Cousins' Country Inn, 2114 W 6th St, The Dalles, OR 97058, USA
Friday, February 24, 8:30am – 2:00pm    Cousins' Country Inn, 2114  W 6th St, The Dalles, OR 97058, USA 


The Department of Energy is planning to implement two amended rules which will cause irreparable damage to Wildlife and citizen's right to due process when actions are taken to build energy developments in the state.

I encourage you to review the attachments and consider submitting comments and objections to the impacts they will have.  Public hearings will be held on these two rule amendments on February 23 and February 24.

SUMMARY OF DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY PLANNED CHANGES TO AMENDMENT CONTESTED CASE RULES

 

The Department of Energy (DOE) is once again demonstrating that they should not have control of the hearings process.  Currently the DOE is the only state agency which writes regulations, receives incomes from developer applicants, controls who is allowed a contested case, and hires its own hearing officers to hear contested cases about their decisions.  The proposed amendments reinforce the existing process; they lack objective criteria necessary for guiding transparent, equitable decisions.  The current 8 pages of rules are being replaced by 32 pages of amendments, all apparently designed to deny the public access to the decision making process.  To date, DOE has a 100% record.  It has denied every request for a contested hearing on amended site certificates.  The new and confusing rules will further complicate the process and guarantee the same questionable outcomes.

 

The proposed rule changes will:

            Continue to give the DOE and EFSC total control over who is allowed a contested case hearing.

Create procedural barriers to further complicate the process and provide additional procedural justifications for 100% denials of contested case requests.

            Increase time to process amendment requests.

            Increase costs to developers requesting amendments.

            Allow DOE to hire additional staff to deal with the new process which developers will have to pay for.

             Eliminate required notification to all special advisory groups when amendment requests are being reviewed.

            Eliminate required evaluation of an entire development’s impacts when processing amendment requests to increase the size of a facility.

            Allow waiving some requirements of the proposed rules for developers; no such waiver will be available to the public.

             Fail to provide the objective criteria necessary for evaluating contested cases  based on the impacts of given amendments.