Idaho Governor Not Happy With Latest Gateway West Plan

Oct 25, 2012

Credit Christopher Sebela / Flickr

State officials are hopeful that the Bureau of Land Management will reconsider a proposal to build a high-power transmission line through the Birds of Prey Conservation Area. 

They want the line on public, rather than private, land.  Known as the Gateway West project, the joint proposal by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power is worth $7 billion.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar earlier this month. In it, Otter requested that top BLM officials come to Idaho to discuss the merits of the different routes by mid-November.

According to John Chatburn at Idaho’s Office of Energy Resources, the BLM has an obligation to pay attention to the state endorsed plan. The Idaho Statesman reports that plan had received the approval of stakeholders, including Owyhee county officials and ranchers.

“I believe that any time you disregard many months of a collaborative process that develops a consensus, you’re not doing the best you can do for public policy,” says Chatburn.

Chatburn met with Sec. Salazar’s top Northwest Advisor this week.  The Governor still wants to meet with top BLM officials by mid-November.  

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio