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Clean energy advocates plan education day for Idaho legislators in January

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Douglas Barnes/douglas barnes photography
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Idaho Energy Freedom is a group formed in September with a stated goal of educating Idahoans about the economic benefits of energy options for consumers and communities, according to the organization’s website. (Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy)

A group of clean energy advocates from across the state have formed a new advisory council that plans to host an education day for the Idaho Legislature on Jan. 18, according to a press release.

Idaho Energy Freedom is a group formed in September with a stated goal of educating Idahoans about the economic benefits of energy options for consumers and communities, according to the organization’s website.

“We plan to counter some of the persistent misinformation in Idaho about clean energy options so that our state doesn’t miss out on the tremendous economic benefits,” said Peter Richardson, an advisory council member who owns a law practice in Boise. “Our state’s largest utility (Idaho Power) has a 100% clean energy goal by 2045 and most major companies and cities are setting similar objectives, so we can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand on this.”

In addition to Richardson, the advisory council for the group includes:

  • Kevin Bradshaw, a retired homebuilder and Twin Falls Rotary Club member
  • Sinuhe Montoya, a veteran and owner of DroneQuote, a small solar company in Twin Falls
  • Laurie Zuckerman, director of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group’s communications division in Boise
  • Eli Bowles, an assistant professor at the College of Southern Idaho’s renewable energy department in Twin Falls

In addition to Idaho Power’s clean energy goals, the release cited the city of Boise’s goal to be carbon-free by 2035, and noted that cities such as Moscow and Ketchum have similarly aggressive goals. Companies like Micron, Meta, Chobani and J.R. Simplot have also set goals for 100% clean energy or significant reductions in carbon emissions in the next decade, according to the release.

Idaho Energy Freedom maintains a blog that curates and analyzes clean energy news from around the region, the release said. The group has also produced a series of videos about the importance of clean energy for Idaho’s economy with the intention to activate its members in support of clean energy goals and projects.

“There are a lot of ways Idaho could make it easier for folks to save money through clean solar energy,” said Montoya, whose business DroneQuote uses drones to survey homes for compatibility with rooftop solar. “It’s windy all the time in the Magic Valley, and our schools and communities could really benefit from the tax revenue these larger projects can bring in.”

Clean energy stakeholders are invited to provide information and educate legislators at Idaho Energy Freedom’s event in January. To sign up for a table or get involved in other ways, send an email to hello@idahoenergyfreedom.org.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state. As longtime Idahoans ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing Idaho. We provide in-depth reporting on legislative and state policy, health care, tax policy, the environment, Idaho’s explosive population growth and more. Our mission is relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Boise and beyond are made and how they affect everyday Idahoans. We aim to tell untold stories and provide data, context and analysis on the issues that matter most throughout the state. The Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.