Stop B2H Coalition Mid-Winter Updates
Stop B2H at the Supreme Court 
On January 18 David met Goliath at the Oregon Supreme Court!  Six years ago that seemed like a far distant possibility, but after years of having our arguments dismissed or ignored by state agencies, we knew that the Court would be our only opportunity for an objective hearing.  Thanks to your incredible support, we did it!
Justices peppered the attorneys with informed questions.  Our attorney, Karl Anuta, effectively presented some of
STOP’s important issues, and Hailey McAllister clearly argued her father’s (Michael McAllister) case that Idaho Power erred in ignoring BLM’s NEPA environmentally preferred route in Union County.
Our opponents--Idaho Power and ODOE/EFSC--were obviously concerned. Idaho Power engaged yet another legal firm to argue their case. ODOE sent a staff attorney that was not involved in the case, and in our estimation neither measured up. The video of the entire case is one hour: 15 minutes for each B2H opponent, and 15 minutes each for Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) and Idaho Power.  

Watch the video of our oral arguments
right HERE.  The hearing starts at about 5 minutes into the video.  A caveat: there are more issues within the written legal briefs than what was actually argued verbally.  Our attorneys said this was normal; when the court rules, they will address all topics.

Extensive legal briefs were also filed by Stop B2H members: Irene Gilbert and Anne Morrison; but they were not able to provide oral argument without an attorney.  Irene addresses
mitigation measures around protected Oregon Trail sites and Anne filed a comprehensive “amicus brief” which outlines the extent of ODOE and EFSC regulatory failure.

The Court’s decision must be issued by June 20th 2023, or it could be sooner.  We hope to share more good news with you then.  In the meantime, thank you again for helping us achieve a monumental goal.
Stop B2H Coalition's intrepid attorneys: Karl Anuta (left) and MIke Sargetakis (right)
Photos clockwise from top left: Hailey McAllister, attorney; Fuji with litigant & board member Irene Gilbert; STOP & Friends debrief in Salem; Anne Morrison (center) filed amicus on behalf of STOP.

Ω  The "Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity" (CPCN) contested case at the Oregon Pubic Utility Commission continues. This is the certificate that Idaho Power needs to be able to invoke eminent domain for the taking of lands.  STOP plus 7 individual intervenors, have filed Opening Testimony in the case; Idaho Power has replied last week; and the rebuttal phase is scheduled for March 13th.  The case should be decided in June.

Ω  The Site Certificate for the B2H, approved by Oregon's ODOE/EFSC last fall, already needs to be amended. Two amendments have been filed and more are coming! So far:

1) Due to a new solar farm in Umatilla Co the B2H needs to be re-routed further south, outside the approved site boundary. 2) In Union Co a major access route is being re-routed to avoid a fisheries project.  All of these need to be reviewed by ODOE using an "Amendment A" process and EFSC (again) is the decision maker. The amendment process opens up more review, more comments, and potentially hearings, for the impacted resources in the new corridors.  The review is still underway -- and we will keep you updated as we learn more.
Recent Articles worth the read:
-1859: Oregon's Magazine hit the mark with their updated story on Stop B2H Coalition and the trail to the Supreme Court.  They certainly know how to pack a lot into a short article. (This is their 3rd article on STOP's efforts.)

-Our very own, Karen Antell recently retired from EOU is published in The Revelator, Center for Biological Diversity. Her article focuses on Twin Lake (aka Little Morgan Lake) and its renowned diversity of species that will be negatively impacted from the B2H transmission line and access roads.

-Norm Cimon, another STOP researcher/activist and board member at Oregon Rural Action, gives a nice overview of how the Energy Trust of Oregon was created and their journey in positioning Oregon for the energy transition of the future. A BIG problem remains:  Coops (like OTEC and Umatilla) are not part of the Energy Trust, nor is Idaho Power!  (This article was originally published in EOC3 news.)
Speak Up and Give 'em YOUR Input:

Two opportunities for providing input to agency decision makers are coming right up! (see the
blue links below). 

Wildfire Mitigation Plans for all Utilities. Tuesday, March 14th at 1:00 p.m.  At this OPUC hosted workshop, the investor-owned utilities (PacifiCorp, PGE, and Idaho Power) will be presenting their 2023 Wildfire Plans which are now mandated for all utilities. These were filed at the end of 2022 and need to be approved. During this meeting the OPUC will also solicit input on these plans.

2)  Oregon's Biennial Energy Report.  Tuesday March 7th 4-5:30 p.m.  This session is more of a presentation than seeking input. Albeit, there is a form that you can provide input to the plan, see link.
In the News and Trending Resources...

Big highlight is Institute for Local Self-Reliance's podcast on alternatives to transmission and systems that can actually help the grid. Listen HERE.
Case studies in Distributed Energy (opportunities and obstacles) in Utility Dive's Trendline. Read them HERE. 

Virtual grids and micro grids are finally coming to Oregon!  See story HERE.  Similar, exciting alternatives:  Utah’s virtual grid - LINK ; Hawaii’s 80 MW virtual grid/power plant - LINK.

A simple Tutorial on the grid

And, in Salem...
Under HB 3166, the Oregon Department of Energy would establish two rebate programs set out in the federal Inflation Reduction Act. One backs broad residential energy efficiency projects such as efficient windows, doors and insulation materials that achieve prescribed energy savings. Another supports home electrification projects, including heat pumps. This bill has a solid bi-partisan support!


Right now, with more resources available, everyone needs to be asking their utilities and public officials about alternative energy investments like Virtual grids. Distributed energy resources, Efficiency projects and Conservation programs will all help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.  More secure, more local, and more resilient than over-building long-distance, over-head transmission!
Alphabet Soup these days...

B2H = Boardman to Hemingway (the transmission project)
BLM = Bureau of Land Management  (federal agency)
CPCN = Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (eminent domain)
EFSC = Energy Facility Siting Council (state council)
FERC = Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (interstate; set transmission tariffs)
IPC = Idaho Power Company (private utility company--regulated monopoly)
IRP = Integrated Resource Plan (20 year Energy Plan, updated every 2 yrs)
ODOE = Oregon Department of Energy (state agency)

OPUC = Oregon Public Utility Commission (state agency)
We are So Thankful that we had to tell you again.

Oregon Community Foundation Partners with Stop B2H Coalition
We are so proud and honored to be recipients of this award. It was a pivotal factor in our ability to get to the Oregon Supreme Court to protect our lands and heritage.  It is a matching fund; and our community has been so supportive and generous that we are confident we can make it!  Please donate at one of the GoFundMe sites (see below), from our website, or on Facebook, or mail a check: 60366 Marvin Rd, La Grande, OR 97850.  So many ways to give, you must like one of them! :-)
Fun(d)raising through Go Fund Me!
Donate to one of our Go Fund Me campaigns -- they are still active and will help with remaining bills and our matching fund with the Oregon Community Foundation. Try one: Save the Oregon Trail, Utilities are Bullies, Wild Places-Wide Open Spaces. After you pick the one you like best, consider sharing to your own network. It helps!
And for those who have generously donated already, Thank YOU!
Dear Fuji,
I think the B2H Coalition is doing impressive work and with incredible endurance! I am very proud to be a contributor to B2H and I am happy if you want to use my name or ask for whatever endorsement that I can give. Thank you for the tax receipt,
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 © 2023 STOP B2H Coalition, All rights reserved.

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