April Climate & Energy News

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The Affordable Clean Energy Plan

The climate and clean energy funding contained within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Acts (now jointly referred to as the Affordable Clean Energy Plan) provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Idaho’s clean air and clean energy economy.

Last week, Governor Little’s office took a significant step forward by accepting $3M through the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant to support the development and implementation of plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollution. CVI, IORC, and Idaho Sierra Club strongly encouraged the Governor’s office to accept these funds as they will open up significant future grant opportunities in Phase II of the program. These funds are flexible and versatile, so CVI will work with the state to create an effective plan to fit the needs of Idaho.

Clean Energy in the Statehouse

Keep an eye out on our social media next week for CVI’s Legislative Wrap-Up. In the meantime, here are a few clean energy highlights and lowlights: 

H24: It’s a pleasure to share that H24 was signed by the Governor, establishing the Idaho Launch Grant Program for our high school graduates pursuing workforce training and education within our state. This program will fund essential workforce programs for Idaho’s rapidly growing clean energy economy, infusing the industry with educated local talent.. This bill passed by narrow margins in both the House and Senate; without conservation champions we helped to elect to office casting their vote in support, this overwhelmingly positive opportunity would have likely failed to advance. It’s heartening to see such a clear example of our theory of change at work – making positive change happen for Idaho by electing the right representatives, advocating for the change we need for our environment, and holding leaders accountable to that change.

H189, H190, and H191: These three bills were meant to address ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing. ESG is simply a way to inform investors who want to invest responsibly, but some groups want to turn it into a political boogeyman. At best, H190 and H191 will create useless bureaucracy for companies like Simplot and Lamb Weston, and allow the Treasurer to decide what businesses can work in Idaho. At worst, these bills could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars like similar legislation did in Texas. While H189 died in committee, the other two were signed by the Governor.

H263: Representative Palmer supported 5+ bills to undermine the Ada County Highway District and make funding bike/ped infrastructure more difficult. While some of these bills passed and others failed, we are happy to share that the worst failed:H263 would have taken the unconstitutional step of removing ACHD commissioners from office. After overwhelming opposition (thanks to the many of you who took action), the bill died in committee. 

H287: Despite overwhelming opposition from stakeholders, another attack on building and energy codes passed this session. This legislation is so ambiguous and poorly written that the impacts are currently unclear. CVI will continue to monitor this statute and mitigate its impacts as they are made clear with time.

Boise’s Zoning Code Rewrite
Boise is updating their Zoning Code to include critical affordability and sustainability measures that are necessary in a rapidly growing metro area. We are encouraging all Boise residents to pick their favorite Sustainability Provision from our site and send a comment in support to Planning and Zoning. There are groups fighting the affordability and sustainability measures, so it’s critical that residents reach out now and attend the upcoming hearings (listed at the bottom of our Zoning Code Rewrite page).