Idaho Power’s spending doesn’t justify building B2H

I am bothered by the recent article that ran in both the East Oregonian and the Baker City Herald. Written by Phil Wright, it bannered the headline, “B2H cost so far at $100 million.” The article infers that, since Idaho Power started this project — without asking us the public, and, since they have spent so much so far, they now have the right to start building the project. This is a species of extortion. If I started painting your house behind your back and suddenly you found out, you’d obviously ask me to stop and in no friendly manner. But now imagine if I didn’t stop but instead said, “Too bad, I can’t, I’ve come this far, I’ll have to finish.” I imagine you’d be livid, even if I hadn’t chosen purple.

And while I’m on the subject of paint, in 13 years of their $100 million scheming, Idaho Power plans to run their pylons directly in front of the BLM National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, because it is shortest and cheapest. The BLM lists this land as an ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern). This, though, is not a concern of Idaho Power because in the recent Draft Proposed Order their mitigated solution would be — and I’m not making this up — to lower the pylons from 195 feet to 145 feet and apply a magic camo paint on the pylons, concluding the visual impact would be less than significant. (Their words not mine.) Nothing is mentioned about wires being seen.

Then again, perhaps you are right, Mr. Wright. Idaho Power’s $100 million R&D spent so far is a good thing. Who else has invented invisible paint? I know it works because I’m told it’s the same paint they painted all those fish ladders with on their dams down in Hells Canyon.

Whit Deschner

Baker City

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(1) comment

Irene

Idaho Power is masterful in their efforts to do damage to citizens without letting them know they are at risk. For example, they only notify people within 250 feet of the transmission line that they will experience impacts from the B2H line. In the meantime, people living over 1/2 mile from the transmission line will be impacted by the corona noise (snap, crackle, buzzing) from the line, and some will be above the Department of Environmental Quality allowable noise level. Idaho Power is asking the Oregon Department of Energy to give them an exemption that allows them to exceed the DEQ noise standard for the entire line. Add to that the fact that they did not follow the DEQ requirements for identifying which properties would exceed the standard, so there will be multiple additional residences over the standard in addition to those Idaho Power admits to. The standard says that the noise level cannot increase more than 10 decibles. Guess what, humans perceive an increase of 3 decibles as a doubling of the noise level. Consider that! I know at least one person who's home will exceed the standard who suffers from tennitis and who will be unable to continue living in his home if the B2H line is built. I imagine there are others. Idaho Power's solution is they will pay for sound proof drapes. Forget the views that you purchased your home to enjoy!! Idaho Power has increased their profits every year for the past 10 years. Now they want Oregon to pay both in money and damages to our resources so they can continue their profiteering.

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