Don't Let Them Fool You.
Our "friendly" local power companies are not public service agencies. Unless they are co-ops, they are corporate utilities operating as poorly regulated monopolies. That's why you don't have a choice of who you buy your power from. Their priority is profit, not service. Greedy corporate utilities make a guaranteed profit by building structures, like transmission lines, whether needed or not. Who foots the bill? Ratepayers like you. Who benefits? Corporate executives and shareholders.
For the past five years, our small non-profit, Stop B2H Coalition has been fighting to protect eastern Oregon from Idaho Power, a $7 billion out-of-state corporate utility. We are 40+ activists with no paid staff, all volunteers. Our profiteering adversary has 2,000 employees. Idaho Power plans to construct a massive unneeded 500 kV transmission line, the B2H, that would gouge a hideous 250’ wide clear cut across 300 miles of northeast Oregon from Boardman to Hemingway, Idaho.
We're working to protect our magnificent open spaces, including the pioneers’ wagon ruts at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center near Baker City. Morgan Lake Park, a beloved natural wildlife and recreation area with unparalleled views, will be invaded by massive 150' steel towers (180’ in “non-scenic” areas.)
[Photo: Morgan Lake Park, La Grande, Oregon]
If Idaho Power prevails, Oregonians’ farm and forest land will be taken, and habitat for endangered wildlife like sage grouse and salmon will be destroyed. Transmission lines will disrupt electronics to irrigation pivots, and buzzing, popping overhead cables will pass within a half mile of tranquil rural homes. That is just a partial list of the B2H’s potential negative impacts.
After almost five years of litigation, we have an excellent chance to prevail. We’re informed, well organized, and determined to stop the B2H. Idaho Power’s application is 100,016 pages, and the legal records are several thousand more. Idaho Power’s team of lawyers has used every strategy to silence us and eliminate our issues. Nevertheless, we’ve successfully filed 41 well-documented contested cases, highlighting glaring errors and omissions in their data.
[Photo: the Grande Ronde Valley, Eastern Oregon, B2H towers super-imposed.]
We know new transmission lines are necessary to provide essential renewable energy, but not everywhere, and not without consulting with communities on the least damaging routes. In many areas, conservation, distributive energy, battery storage for local wind and solar projects, and upgrading existing power lines will fill the bill at much less cost to ratepayers and the environment. The B2H is one of those unnecessary lines, but building it will guarantee an immediate $120 million profit for utility shareholders, and even more profit every year into perpetuity. At the same time, ratepayers' bills will increase to pay for it.
We should have won these cases on the state level, but corporate utilities’ undue influence on state regulatory agencies is well known. Our only chance for a fair hearing will be a costly case in the Oregon Supreme Court. For that, we need $70,000. Our local donors have overwhelmed us with their repeated generous support, but we will need outside help to pay our attorneys in this all-out effort to stop the B2H.
With your help, we can defeat Idaho Power and send an important message to other profiteering corporate utilities. They need to learn that our land -- and your land -- is not their land to pillage for profit. Thank you so much. We need and appreciate your support. Please circulate this link as widely as possible. Who knows where the greedy utilities’ next target will be?
STOP B2H is a 501 (3) (C.) All donations are tax-deductible. Learn more about us at www.stopb2h.com . If your community is facing an unnecessary transmission line, please get in touch with us.
Speaking Truth to Power…
Contested Case Warriors at the EFSC Appeals Hearings (Summer 2022)
EFSC Hearings on Draft Proposed Order (Summer 2019)
Signs from the Rally in La Grande (Aug ’22): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i5CuyYjk07SB8fWxfBsDPvhR-wLnuMFa/view?usp=sharing
About the Stop B2H Coalition video from East Oregonian (2019): https://www.facebook.com/STOPB2H/videos/516073735853278/
OPINION: Utility Dive (Published Sept. 15, 2022)
"Preserving electric utility monopolies is too costly to consumers, entrepreneurs, and to democracy" https://www.utilitydive.com/news/sunnova-taking-the-utility-monopoly-door-down-to-put-more-solar-up/631939/