2023 Legislative Session
While we don’t expect attacks on clean energy to feature heavily in this legislative session, we’ll be watching for some potential clean energy and climate bills activity. For example:
- The first is a return of last year’s H819, which would allow businesses to cut down any trees or vegetation within 250-500 feet of any signs or advertising. It’s hard to imagine why legislators think deforesting our cities would be good for local businesses or their communities.
- Secondly, we are expecting more bills attacking Environmental Social Governance investing (ESG). ESG funds merely give investors the option to screen for unethical investments, and anti-ESG policies in other states have cost taxpayers hundreds of million of dollars.
Hollie Conde, our Senior Legislative & Lands Coordinator, will again be leading our work in the Statehouse to stop harmful legislation and advance our conservation priorities. To follow that work or get involved, sign up for our weekly Legislative updates here.
Energy Efficiency Codes Dodge the Chopping Block (For Now)
In what has felt like the Groundhog Day of policy attacks, the past six months featured yet another attack on our Energy Efficiency and Building Codes. In response, CVI once again joined utilities, building code officials, conservation partners, Idaho cities, concerned residents, and dozens of industry leaders to demonstrate how important these codes are to protecting our electrical grid, lowering emissions, and saving money for Idahoans.
I’m thrilled to share that the Building Code Board has shelved these changes and protected our codes for the time being, after about 95% of comments from the public and stakeholders were in opposition to the suggested changes. CVI will continue to collaborate with our partners within the coalition to protect Idahoan home and business owners from substandard construction in the places we live and work.
A few years ago, my predecessor Crystal Rain joined the Idaho Chapter Sierra Club, Idaho Conservation League, and other local conservationists and bike/ped advocates in finding opportunities to build out the Treasure Valley’s pathway system along the canals that criss-cross our community. This group joined others from the community and became the Canals Connect Communities Coalition.
Since then, the City of Boise has successfully passed the Pathways Master Plan, constructed multiple pathways, and begun the process of building out even more. Likewise, city staff and advocates in cities like Eagle and Caldwell have made impressive progress in building out their pathway systems. It has been exciting to see cities take such a strong leadership role in providing safe routes to interconnect our communities.
Recently, I accepted a nomination to become the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Idaho Chapter of the CleanTech Alliance (CTA). The goal of the CleanTech Alliance, which includes 1,100 organizations in 17 states and four Canadian provinces, is to facilitate the generation and growth of cleantech companies and jobs. If you are interested in learning more about the value and benefits of joining the CTA, please contact me at email@example.com or by replying to this email.
Other News and Notes