Copy
Public Hearing this Wednesday!

"Land Condemnation" for B2H
aka: Land-Taking or Eminent Domain

Support Our Landowners & Neighbors
Stop the B2H!
ACTION ALERT:

Show Up and Speak Out!

Wednesday, November 16, 20226-8 p.m. Pacific Time,

Live at the
Gilbert Center on the EOU campus
 
The STOP B2H “Bruisers” will engage the Idaho Power “Bullies” in the first Oregon Public Utility Commission's (OPUC) public comment hearings on Land Taking for the B2H transmission project. The hearing is this Wednesday 11/16, at the Gilbert Center on the EOU campus, from 6-8 p.m. (pacific)
 
Click here for meeting info, phone call-in, and email options.

So what's going on now?
Stop B2H has been fighting the unneeded transmission project for many years in many regulatory arenas. This Action Alert is not for the site certificate case that we are taking to the Supreme Court. This is a new contested case against Idaho Power for condemning and taking of peoples' land to build the unneeded B2H transmission line.

Before the ink dried on the
Site Certificate Final Order for the B2H, issued by Oregon's Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) last month, Idaho Power applied to another state agency, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC), for a "Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity" or CPCN.  That is the name of the certificate necessary for a utility to be granted the power to take private land, also known as Eminent Domain. We know; its confusing.


Déjà vu ?
Does all of this sound familiar? That’s because over 30 Stop B2H Coalition members previously acted - wrote or testified - during the OPUC’s rulemaking process. You and STOP worked for 3 years arguing and trying to get new rules that would be more landowner-considerate. 

Congratulations and Thank You to everyone who previously wrote -- you made a difference by ensuring certain criteria (e.g.: economic impacts and environmental justice) would be in the new rules, which are here:
Order 22-351 and are worth a read. (The actual rules start on pdf p 22-30. The first 21 pages of the order explain the commission’s reasoning.)
 

Current Status & Why the Hearing?
Based on these new rules Idaho Power submitted a 10,608 page supplemental application for condemnation (which includes the ODOE/EFSC site certificate.)  This application is what the CPCN and public hearing on Wednesday are all about.

It’s time to act again!  This time, your comment should focus on the economic impacts that need to be considered (e.g.: lost land productivity/income and decreased property values) and any environmental justice criteria (poverty, race, age, disabilities, rural) that must be weighed against the (supposed) "public benefit."  See some Talking Points below.
Stop B2H Coalition is asking you once again to Turn-Out & Speak Up!

Support your neighbors and express your disgust or concern with Idaho Power’s strong-armed tactics. Taking peoples’ land and their heritage through condemnation, while low-balling the price they will pay for that land, should be criminal. Putting the costs back on our rural EJ communities and ratepayers adds vinegar to the wounds. And all of this could occur with the backdrop of a dubious "public necessity or benefit" touted by Idaho Power and their greenwashing. There are many alternatives that Idaho Power could chose instead. Urge the OPUC to stand Up for Oregon and do the right thing!

Again, the link to the Public Hearing invitation. 
TAKE ACTION!

How?

>>SHOW UP & SPEAK OUT at the hearing: Wednesday 6 p.m. (pacific time) @ EOU.

>>CALL-IN TO SPEAK at the hearing on Wednesday: 
Link for number and access code.

>>WRITE DIRECTLY VIA EMAIL: 
    To: 
PUC.PublicComments@puc.oregon.gov

    Subject:  PCN 5 Idaho Power application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity - CPCN   

TALKING POINTS:

Alternate Transmission line routes need to be analyzed per the new rules:

**This includes insisting that the BLM preferred route several miles to the west of La Grande be considered thus saving: Morgan Lake Park, Twin Lake wetlands, Glass-Rice Natural Area, and better protect numerous rural homes facing corona noise intrusions that are predicated to exceed the state’s noise control standards.

**Alternatives such as the undergrounding of the B2H for 1.7 miles in front of the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker County must be considered to preserve this exceptional tourism and historical resource.
 
**An underground direct current (DC) line along the railroad right of way, or the interstate (with EV charging stations) be more secure and more innovative?  Why should the people of rural eastern Oregon have to face land condemnation, a reduced quality of life, with a less secure overhead high-voltage line?

**Upgrading and fire hardening the existing 3 lines between Oregon and Idaho should occur before building anything new and taking people’s land.
 
**While not another route, decentralized energy generation and resources in Idaho (or close to customers) are trending, growing, and must be considered again. Too much has changed since the old Idaho Power energy plans (IRPs) were acknowledged.

Economic burdens and environmental justice impacts to communities need to be analyzed:

**Economic impacts have not been calculated for the loss of timber, farm, and range land production, forever impacting rural family livelihoods.

**The economic impacts on tourism (from hiking to hunting) on the rural communities of Eastern Oregon have not been considered.

**Property devaluation impacts people from all walks of life, in addition to lowering the rural tax base.

**Economic risks and liability should be considered given the propensity of utility wildfires in the west.  Even though B2H is touted as a new line, it won’t be new forever and the risks will only increase with time.
 

Costs to ratepayers need more scrutiny as it adds to the economic burden for rural and EJ communities:

**The budget has not been seriously updated since 2016 and it has a probability of 30- 50% margin of error given the degree of estimation Idaho Power has provided thus far. We need to drill in and scrutinize the budget to make sure there won’t be extreme cost overruns which are common in energy projects like this. They are low balling the budget--and we will all have to pay!

**Idaho Power has to describe the costs, benefits, and revenue impacts of the B2H to their Oregon customers and to customers of other Oregon utilities (BPA, OTEC, UEC, PAC) and to Oregonians in general.  Transparency of the financial impacts has been missing.

**Furthermore, Idaho Power’s 54% funding partner, PacifiCorp, has made no construction commitment! Where’s the money?  Demand that ratepayers not be socked with the bill.

**What costs and/or benefits will the B2H provide related to connecting renewables to regional and inter-regional grids? The problem is there are no off ramps to sell and buy energy with local communities. There are no grid inter-connection benefits either.

**Oregonians should not be faced with extensive legal fees to defend their land and homes, when monopoly utilities have endless resources (often paid by rate-payers).


Taking of Land through Eminent Domain must be the last resort--the last step in any development project.
Remind them:
     1. The Site Certificate is being appealed at the Oregon Supreme Court and
     2. The OPUC still hasn't heard from the 54% investor in the B2H project (i.e.: PacifiCorp).  How can we be talking about CPCN/land takings when PacifiCorp hasn't even shown up at the table?
Why is this the "first round" of hearings? 

If you follow this link, you will see the memo issued by the Administrative Law Judge for this CPCN case. He announces the schedule or calendar for the case which goes into June 2023.

Contact the filing center at puc.filingcenter@puc.oregon.gov, request to be listed as an interested person in the PCN 5 docket, and provide your name and contact information. This will get you on their list for notices, workshops, and information. 

If you want to be an intervenor in the case, you have until Dec 16th to apply.  Contact Jim at: jim@stopb2horg right away for questions or assistance with this! 

If you are an impacted landowner and want to join the Stop B2H landowner group, also contact Jim and he'll add you to the google group and make appropriate referrals.

If you are not an intervenor, but still want to have your voice heard, then there are only two opportunities to comment: 
     1> this Wednesday's hearing and
     2> at Dec 5th--virtual hearing
(see the calendar
link.)  
DONATE
Or Donate to one of our Go Fund Me campaigns to help us win at the Supreme Court over the EFSC's B2H Site Certificate. Try this one: Utilities are Bullies And for those who have generously donated, Thank YOU!
Not a member?  Sign up on our website stopb2h.org "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
www.stopb2h.org
Facebook
Twitter
Link
Website
Copyright © 2022 STOP B2H Coalition, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp