After The Wind Boom, A Fight Over Idaho’s Energy Future

Sep 21, 2012

If you look at a map of where wind development has taken off in Idaho, you’ll notice an area near American Falls. There, surrounded by rolling agricultural land, Edith Kopp stands on a high hillside.  She gazes out with satisfaction at more than a dozen turbines, turning steadily. 

“This is a pretty constant wind,” she says.  “They’re all going!”

Kopp and her husband, Richard, have spent their lives right here, farming grain.  For decades, they’ve planted in spring and harvested in summer.  They’ve tallied profits and losses as winter sets in.  The years have been marked by anxiety, and hope.

“Hopefully at the end of the year when you sell your crop, there will be something left for you,” Kopp explains.  “In 33 years of marriage there’s been several of those years when there wasn’t anything left for us.”

She pauses, and then says, “This is the first time we’ve ever had a steady income.”  Continue reading...