Appeals Hearing

Coming Live to La Grande! 

August 29, 30, 31

Mid-Summer Hot Topics Update 2022

 Stop B2H Coalition
an update on the Contested Case

NEWS ALERT-- Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council will be Hearing Appeals regarding the Boardman to Hemingway (B2H) Transmission Line Contested CaseThe meeting will be IN PERSON in La Grande on August 29, 30 & 31, 2022 at the Gilbert Center (formerly Ackerman Gym) on EOU campus (also via WebEx).

Times and the agenda have not yet been published.  Once they are, you can view them on our STOP B2H website: and our Facebook page:  We'll certainly send you an Action Alert too. Stay tuned to our mailings this month as our Outreach Team will have news and actions to share as soon as we know the agenda for the hearing.

What we know:  We know the dates and location but that's it.  Two weeks ago, at the monthly EFSC meeting we were informed that we would receive the agenda and format of the hearing very soon....  still waiting!  It is likely that the public will not be allowed to speak regarding the B2H project, however, there may be a comment period when the public can speak regarding general concerns with the procedures and processes that are used for decision making, especially those that are prejudicial against the average person (without an attorney).

Our volunteers, representing themselves in the case, remain strong in this 24th month of the contested case at the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE)’s Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC).  It’s been a heavy-lift to say it mildly.  Please consider coming to La Grande to bear witness and show your support to our “Contested Case Warriors” who will be facing their final appeal in this lengthy administrative process, before heading to a judicial court: the Oregon Supreme Court!

To review some of the contested case issues, check them out: 
Our STOP B2H Coalition started with 72 issues in the case.  After two years of legal volleying, summary determinations, motions to dismiss, and many more objection periods, we still have 30 issues alive in the case—now pending appeal--also called "exceptions." 
If EFSC denies our exceptions and approves the "Site Certificate" (aka permit) sometime this fall – there are still more cards to be played:  the actual site conditions (another approval), the supreme court (a real court), amendments to the site certificate (more comment periods), local permitting processes (e.g.: planning commissions), and land condemnation (eminent domain)…  So, stay tuned, we are not going away.  Keep up the pressure; Please continue your support!
Two Quick Updates:

#1-Protected Areas:  At the Rulemaking on Protected, Scenic and Recreation Areas --last month's Action Alert-- no decisions were made. We proudly announce that the Council (aka EFSC) received 88 public comments and they did not have enough time to review them before deciding.  Hence, they postponed this decision until their September meeting (likely) since in August they will be dealing with the B2H appeals/exceptions (see above).  We will keep you posted.

#2-Wildfire Maps & Rules:  If you've been following our newsletters, you've read our reports and stories about the utility wildfire rulemaking dockets at the ODOE (OR Dept of Energy) and OPUC (OR Public Utility Commission).  Last newsletter, we also sent you the link to the new mapping tool, Oregon Explorer:

Oregon Explorer (maps and project) released!  This new statewide tool will become an important feature in all future energy development as well as for other policies and decision making.  Here is a link to poke around the renewable energy component: Link.  And, here for a look at the wildfire maps (they are interactive), so check out your home's risk! Link.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) sent letters to homeowners with "high and extremely high" ratings alerting them to their risk ratings and the mapping tool. This was a big deal because home insurance will be impacted for many Oregonians in the near future according to the new rules.  Public meetings and appeals have begun. TODAY -in another piece of news, we learned that ODF withdrew the map and the process!  This will be temporary but for anyone who received the letter and are concerned, here is the email from the head of ODF:  Link. 
The power of life
Runs through veins of sunlit leaves,
Not transmission lines.
Haiku from Karen Antell
Updates & Goings on... around the region:
Comment Deadline on Eminent Domain--Thursday!
The OPUC Rulemaking on Land Condemnation for transmission lines final comments due next Thursday, August 11th.  Contact for more info & how to comment.
Energy Siting Council Exerting its Super-Powers? 
Umatilla County is taking them ON!

Umatilla County requires a separation of at least two miles between residences and windmill towers. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) says it will not recognize that setback as it considers the proposed Nolin Hills energy project west of Pendleton. Capital Power, the windmill project developer, has said it will honor that setback. Board of Commissioners Chairman John Shafer said that the county is going to contest EFSC’s refusal to honor the county’s setback. “This would set a precedent that if we allow that to happen, in the future EFSC would allow a windmill to be closer than the two-mile setback,” Shafer said. “We are going to file a contested case on that.” Shafer said the county will hire outside counsel to challenge EFSC. (story from Elkhorn Media)

Idahoans challenging Idaho Power's Study on Value of Solar - We need to Speak Up as well!  (Idaho Power customers in Baker and Malheur Counties-take special notice!) Another Idaho Power dubious study with self-serving data  (sound familiar?) is uncovered by allies at the Idaho Conservation League (ICL).  This study, which was ordered by the Idaho Public Utility Commission takes a look at the value of solar in the utility's planning.  Idaho Power's results and conclusions, if adopted by the IPUC would be a huge step backwards in our future for clean, sustainable, energy independence!  Idaho Power, like so many other monopoly utilities across the nation, are hamstringing our transition to energy independence by discouraging--and putting barriers in the way of customers.  Check out the summary and "Take Action" by commenting (using the button provided by ICL) -- follow this link.

Integrated Resource Planning continues... Idaho Power's Energy Plan-2021 IRP.  The process is underway (again! - It's every two years) at the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC). Contact for more info & when to comment.

Eastern Oregon Climate Change Coalition in Pendleton have been hosting monthly programs on Zoom, strictly educational and all are invited. Contact: to sign up for invites.

OTEC’s first Community Solar to be built soon in La Grande! Good location; right siting. Congrats OTEC!  Read the story here.

What about the new federal deal? 
Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), (which is the parent org for member organization, Oregon Rural Action-ORA) shares their analysis of the new deal "Inflation Reduction Act." Read their press release, here.
Keep up on the latest developments in featured newsletter stories from our Stop B2H Energy Researchers & Allies:

EXCELLENT Article on Centralized vs Decentralized Grid by Volts
Biden, Infrastructure and Grid Modernization,  Link.
Dissecting the Narrative on Transmission, Link.
The Unruly Grid, Link

Recent Letters to the Editor & Local stories:
Opposed for numerous reasons
(Glaser, Baker Co)
Rate Increases
(Harvey, Umatilla Co)
 Lack of planning  (Deschner, Baker Co)
Noise variance (Kreider, Union Co)
Baker Commissioner meet with Landowners (story)
Siting Council meeting July 2022  (story)
IPC gains access to properties, drop lawsuits (story)

Easy backgrounder on the Grid with video.
Map of Power generation in the PNW.
Community Power Scorecard.

And don't forget to Take Action using the next box...

Write or call our Federal Officials (cc: the Governor and State Officials).

Tell them what the energy infrastructure funds should be spent on! Tell them what you think about the B2H & better, immediate, investments, such as:
  • Make our (3) existing 230 kV lines into 345 kV’s in the same corridors; double circuit where possible.
  • Digitize the substations and create bi-directional flows in our distribution system.
  • Fire-harden all existing lines/components and substations.
  • Reform regulations governing grid interconnections, alleviating costs for renewable energy to get an "on-ramp" to the grid.
  • Incentivize & invest in renewable energy economic development targeting local green energy projects, not obsolete and destructive long-distance transmission.
  • As needed, bury long-distance "direct current" (DC) transmission lines along existing railway or interstate rights of way (ROW).
Click here for contact info/addresses for public officials!
Those of us who have been struggling for the past two years, through the convoluted process in the contested case against the B2H, believe that a public showing of support would help our case.  It would serve to demonstrate the public expectation that if a site certificate is issued, they must require Idaho Power to comply with the letter of the law!
We will send more info as soon as we know it.  Thanks & Thanking YOU in advance for your continual support.
Not a member?  Sign up on our website "Join Us!"
Stop B2H Coalition, grassroots people fighting to STOP
a 300 mile invasive 500kv transmission line across Eastern Oregon

Protect Our Land; Preserve Our Heritage
Copyright © 2022 STOP B2H Coalition, All rights reserved.

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