Thursday, August 21, 2014

Photos: Puddles in Idaho Falls - LocalNews8

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Blackout threat in Idaho Falls illustrates transmission line troubles - The Idaho Statesman

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Energy Summit

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, and U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, tour the Idaho National Laboratory on Wednesday. Risch said his goal is to continue to educate Congress about Idaho’s vital role in nuclear energy.


KIMBERLEE KRUESI — AP





IDAHO FALLS - Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper took the podium Tuesday to tell 150 scientists, engineers and policymakers from the U.S. and Canada at the Intermountain Energy Summit to prepare themselves for a blackout.


Casper wasn't joking. A delivery truck had just snapped a utility pole for a high-power line for the city's electric utility. If the linemen couldn't fix the pole quickly, the power company would have to black out a large part of Idaho Falls - including the Shilo Hotel, site of the two-day conference, which wrapped up Wednesday.


The problem came from the city's inability to build a new, redundant power line to ensure reliable service. Officials could not reach agreement for a right of way for the transmission line and lost their effort to use the city's power of eminent domain to take over the needed land because it fell outside of city limits.


Idaho Falls' problem is a challenge that all electric utilities face as they seek to build a new generation of transmission lines across Idaho and the West. It was one of the issues discussed at the summit, which was organized by Casper, the Idaho Falls Post Register, the Idaho National Laboratory and international engineering conglomerate Fluor.


Casper's blackout warning came as Gov. Butch Otter had just finished his lunch speech criticizing federal officials for slow approval of the proposed Gateway West transmission line across Southern Idaho. The mayor chimed in that it was private landowners who were stopping her line.


"The problem is people take power for granted until there is a blackout," said Lt. Gov. Brad Little.


MANY PINCH POINTS


It took six years and seven months for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to approve Gateway West, which is slated to run 1,000 miles from Glenrock, Wyo., to near Melba, said Richard Walje, Rocky Mountain Power CEO. His company and partner Idaho Power Co. had to go through 30 federal agencies, each with a patchwork of jurisdictions and often different interpretations of the utilities' requirements.


The utilities are still working with the BLM and a local collaborative group to work out the final line routes around and through the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey area. But even if they get agreement on those routes, they still must get approval for the line's path through nonfederal land from each of the Idaho counties it would cross. Power and Cassia counties have both expressed opposition to BLM-approved routes.


In Wyoming, Rocky Mountain needed only to make its case to a state energy facility siting board that the route was the best and that the line was needed.


MORE FEDERAL POWER?


The answer to this problem is not less federal control, said Boise energy attorney Peter Richardson, but more. If the nation believes these transmission lines are crucial, then the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which already approves oil pipelines, should make transmission line siting decisions.


David Manning, the Canadian province of Alberta's representative in Washington, D.C., illustrated the lack of technological innovation in the electric grid with a joke that Alexander Graham Bell would not know what to think about today's smartphones.


In contrast, "Edison would not only recognize the grid, but he could fix it," Manning said.


New high-tech transmission lines are going to be crucial not only to meet power needs, but also for national security, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday.


"Our electric grid has a bunch of threats," Moniz said.


These include extreme weather, cyberthreats, physical threats such as attacks and vandalism, and electromagnetic pulses. The Idaho National Laboratory is working on many of these issues, Moniz said.


The grid also will have to evolve over the next 20 years to be more flexible in the face of other new technology, said Elliot Mainzer of the Bonneville Power Administration. That includes distributed generation sources such as rooftop solar systems, and new demand-side energy efficiency technology that will be able to turn off appliances and other equipment when they're not needed or when the power supply is short.


The growth of distributed generation, combined with battery storage systems, could insulate users from the need for the grid. That could add financial uncertainty to investments into transmission lines, which are paid back over many decades, Walje said.


NO DARK THIS TIME


Idaho Falls was able to avoid a blackout Tuesday because its demand was down, said Jackie Flowers, Idaho Falls Power general manager. Most of Idaho's electric utilities peak in the summer, but Idaho Falls, dominated by residential use rather than agricultural use, peaks in the winter.


Unless the city can work out a solution on new lines, the threat of a blackout remains high, she said.


"That particular location is vulnerable," Flowers said.


Many speakers said engagement with the people affected by the location of lines will be vital to resolving transmission disputes.


"My vision is more mediation, more collaboration," said Britt Ide, a Boise energy attorney.


Rocky Barker: 377-6484



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Idaho Falls Investment Promoter Settles Securities Lawsuit - Insurance News Net

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BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 20 -- The Idaho Department of Finance issued the following news release:


The Idaho Department of Finance announced today that a Bonneville County District Court has entered a judgment and permanent injunction against Tony S. Sellers of Idaho Falls. Mr. Sellers was sued by the department in March of this year in a complaint alleging that he violated Idaho's Uniform Securities Act when he sold $4.6 million in charitable gift annuities (CGAs) to 24 elderly investors. The complaint alleged that the securities sold by Sellers were not registered, Sellers was not licensed to sell these investments, and that he made misrepresentations and failed to disclose material information in conjunction with the securities sales. Mr. Sellers consented to the judgment, which included a civil penalty in the amount of $20,000 for his part in the offer and sale of CGAs issued by an organization known as We The People. Sellers also agreed to cease offering or selling any financial product other than insurance products which are offered by insurance companies registered or licensed with the Idaho Department of Insurance. Sellers also admitted to violations of the Idaho Uniform Securities Act. He previously was sanctioned by the department for the improper sale of another investment product.


We The People, the issuer of the CGAs sold by Mr. Sellers, is the subject of a federal civil enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We The People and all that company's assets have been turned over to a court-appointed receiver. Based on the information presented by the receiver, the department anticipates that Idaho investors will have some of their investment returned.


A charitable gift annuity is a transaction wherein an individual "donates" cash, marketable securities and other sorts of assets to a charitable organization in exchange for fixed annuity payments. The transferred cash will be readily accessible to the charity organization while the individual annuitant will have to wait for the payments. The payments are represented to last a lifetime in most cases.


Investors are urged to contact the Department of Finance BEFORE INVESTING to check whether promoters and their investment offerings are properly qualified in Idaho.


CC AutoTriage5rn-140821-30FurigayJane-4834651 30FurigayJane











Copyright:(c) 2014 Targeted News Service
Wordcount:362



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Photos: Puddles in Idaho Falls - LocalNews8

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Blackout threat in Idaho Falls illustrates transmission line troubles - The Idaho Statesman

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Energy Summit

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, and U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, tour the Idaho National Laboratory on Wednesday. Risch said his goal is to continue to educate Congress about Idaho’s vital role in nuclear energy.


KIMBERLEE KRUESI — AP





IDAHO FALLS - Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper took the podium Tuesday to tell 150 scientists, engineers and policymakers from the U.S. and Canada at the Intermountain Energy Summit to prepare themselves for a blackout.


Casper wasn't joking. A delivery truck had just snapped a utility pole for a high-power line for the city's electric utility. If the linemen couldn't fix the pole quickly, the power company would have to black out a large part of Idaho Falls - including the Shilo Hotel, site of the two-day conference, which wrapped up Wednesday.


The problem came from the city's inability to build a new, redundant power line to ensure reliable service. Officials could not reach agreement for a right of way for the transmission line and lost their effort to use the city's power of eminent domain to take over the needed land because it fell outside of city limits.


Idaho Falls' problem is a challenge that all electric utilities face as they seek to build a new generation of transmission lines across Idaho and the West. It was one of the issues discussed at the summit, which was organized by Casper, the Idaho Falls Post Register, the Idaho National Laboratory and international engineering conglomerate Fluor.


Casper's blackout warning came as Gov. Butch Otter had just finished his lunch speech criticizing federal officials for slow approval of the proposed Gateway West transmission line across Southern Idaho. The mayor chimed in that it was private landowners who were stopping her line.


"The problem is people take power for granted until there is a blackout," said Lt. Gov. Brad Little.


MANY PINCH POINTS


It took six years and seven months for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to approve Gateway West, which is slated to run 1,000 miles from Glenrock, Wyo., to near Melba, said Richard Walje, Rocky Mountain Power CEO. His company and partner Idaho Power Co. had to go through 30 federal agencies, each with a patchwork of jurisdictions and often different interpretations of the utilities' requirements.


The utilities are still working with the BLM and a local collaborative group to work out the final line routes around and through the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey area. But even if they get agreement on those routes, they still must get approval for the line's path through nonfederal land from each of the Idaho counties it would cross. Power and Cassia counties have both expressed opposition to BLM-approved routes.


In Wyoming, Rocky Mountain needed only to make its case to a state energy facility siting board that the route was the best and that the line was needed.


MORE FEDERAL POWER?


The answer to this problem is not less federal control, said Boise energy attorney Peter Richardson, but more. If the nation believes these transmission lines are crucial, then the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which already approves oil pipelines, should make transmission line siting decisions.


David Manning, the Canadian province of Alberta's representative in Washington, D.C., illustrated the lack of technological innovation in the electric grid with a joke that Alexander Graham Bell would not know what to think about today's smartphones.


In contrast, "Edison would not only recognize the grid, but he could fix it," Manning said.


New high-tech transmission lines are going to be crucial not only to meet power needs, but also for national security, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday.


"Our electric grid has a bunch of threats," Moniz said.


These include extreme weather, cyberthreats, physical threats such as attacks and vandalism, and electromagnetic pulses. The Idaho National Laboratory is working on many of these issues, Moniz said.


The grid also will have to evolve over the next 20 years to be more flexible in the face of other new technology, said Elliot Mainzer of the Bonneville Power Administration. That includes distributed generation sources such as rooftop solar systems, and new demand-side energy efficiency technology that will be able to turn off appliances and other equipment when they're not needed or when the power supply is short.


The growth of distributed generation, combined with battery storage systems, could insulate users from the need for the grid. That could add financial uncertainty to investments into transmission lines, which are paid back over many decades, Walje said.


NO DARK THIS TIME


Idaho Falls was able to avoid a blackout Tuesday because its demand was down, said Jackie Flowers, Idaho Falls Power general manager. Most of Idaho's electric utilities peak in the summer, but Idaho Falls, dominated by residential use rather than agricultural use, peaks in the winter.


Unless the city can work out a solution on new lines, the threat of a blackout remains high, she said.


"That particular location is vulnerable," Flowers said.


Many speakers said engagement with the people affected by the location of lines will be vital to resolving transmission disputes.


"My vision is more mediation, more collaboration," said Britt Ide, a Boise energy attorney.


Rocky Barker: 377-6484



Read more ►

Idaho Falls Investment Promoter Settles Securities Lawsuit - Insurance News Net

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BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 20 -- The Idaho Department of Finance issued the following news release:


The Idaho Department of Finance announced today that a Bonneville County District Court has entered a judgment and permanent injunction against Tony S. Sellers of Idaho Falls. Mr. Sellers was sued by the department in March of this year in a complaint alleging that he violated Idaho's Uniform Securities Act when he sold $4.6 million in charitable gift annuities (CGAs) to 24 elderly investors. The complaint alleged that the securities sold by Sellers were not registered, Sellers was not licensed to sell these investments, and that he made misrepresentations and failed to disclose material information in conjunction with the securities sales. Mr. Sellers consented to the judgment, which included a civil penalty in the amount of $20,000 for his part in the offer and sale of CGAs issued by an organization known as We The People. Sellers also agreed to cease offering or selling any financial product other than insurance products which are offered by insurance companies registered or licensed with the Idaho Department of Insurance. Sellers also admitted to violations of the Idaho Uniform Securities Act. He previously was sanctioned by the department for the improper sale of another investment product.


We The People, the issuer of the CGAs sold by Mr. Sellers, is the subject of a federal civil enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We The People and all that company's assets have been turned over to a court-appointed receiver. Based on the information presented by the receiver, the department anticipates that Idaho investors will have some of their investment returned.


A charitable gift annuity is a transaction wherein an individual "donates" cash, marketable securities and other sorts of assets to a charitable organization in exchange for fixed annuity payments. The transferred cash will be readily accessible to the charity organization while the individual annuitant will have to wait for the payments. The payments are represented to last a lifetime in most cases.


Investors are urged to contact the Department of Finance BEFORE INVESTING to check whether promoters and their investment offerings are properly qualified in Idaho.


CC AutoTriage5rn-140821-30FurigayJane-4834651 30FurigayJane











Copyright:(c) 2014 Targeted News Service
Wordcount:362



Read more ►

Photos: Puddles in Idaho Falls - LocalNews8

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