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Idaho Briefs June 27, 2010

| June 27, 2010 9:00 PM

Utility seeks ruling to reclaim investment

BOISE - Idaho Power Co. is seeking a favorable ruling from state regulators that would allow the utility to recover more than $50 million invested over two years on energy efficient programs.The state's biggest utility claims it spent a combined $50.7 million in 2008 and 2009 on programs to reduce energy consumption.

The company is asking the Public Utilities Commission to declare that the investment was "prudently incurred." That rating means the company can then recover the money collected during those two years through a surcharge on monthly power bills.Idaho Power claims the programs saved 140 gigawatt hours of energy in 2008 and 148 gigawatt hours in 2009. A gigawatt is 1 million kilowatt hours, and a kilowatt hour is enough power to operate ten 100-watt light bulbs for one hour.

Utah teen dies in three-vehicle crash in Idaho

JEROME - Idaho state police say a teenager driving a stolen pickup truck is dead after crossing into the oncoming lane of traffic on I-84 and crashing into two semi trucks.

Capt. Robert Storm says in a release that 18-year-old Cody Scott of Vernal, Utah, died following the crash shortly before 11 a.m. Friday near the Idahome exit in Cassia County.He says investigators believe that the youth crossed the median into oncoming traffic in an apparent suicide effort.

He identified the truck drivers as 36-year-old John Jessop of Slaterville, Utah, and 23-year-old Joseph Poynor of Springfield, Mo.They were both hospitalized and listed in stable condition.

Otter wades into wilderness rift

IDAHO FALLS - A rift over whether Idaho should get a new federally protected wilderness is seeping into the 2010 State Republican Convention.

A petition opposing the preserve was circulating even as the Republican behind the wilderness push, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, was scheduled to speak to the crowd Saturday.Scores of GOP convention delegates signed on to support Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's opposition to the bill that would protect 331,000 acres in the Boulder and White Cloud mountains.

Simpson has said addressing Otter's concerns is his top priority, including provisions to let Idaho wildlife agents land helicopters to track wolves.But Otter, even with those concessions, maintains he still won't support new Idaho wilderness.

- The Associated Press

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