Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Otter’s no friend of renewables

Butch Otter's commercial that implies he has embraced alternative energy and is responsible for creating a plethora of energy jobs is just not accurate. In a speech in 2007, Otter said developing wind and solar energy is too expensive, and in the past Otter expressed doubts about solar and other renewables, saying nuclear energy is the clean energy alternative he backs. Otter's appointed energy czar was quoted in 2008 as saying he believes "in the three N's. Nukes, natural gas or nothing."

In 2008, the Otter administration stripped funding from a state group working to promote wind turbine developments. The U.S. Energy Information Administration shows Idaho ranks 36th in the nation for installed renewable energy excluding hydropower, 25th for wind energy and 25th for biomass. Idaho produced no measurable percentage of its electricity from solar in 2008 and just a tiny amount in 2009.

The most accurate line from that commercial is, "And we've just scratched the surface." Other states are far ahead of Idaho in alternative energy development, and under the Otter administration Idaho has truly only scratched the surface. I think Idaho can do better and that's why I'm voting for Keith Allred for governor.

Bob Mclaughlin


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