NW Panel Urges More Wind Power,by Associated Press
PORTLAND -- Energy conservation and reliance on wind power should be increased in the Northwest over the next five years to ease electricity prices and avoid the kind of crisis that sent prices skyrocketing in 2000-01, according to goals in a new regional plan.
The five-year plan, approved by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on Thursday, marks the fifth regional plan since Congress created the council in 1980 to balance energy needs with fish and wildlife protection in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
The plan's goals were generally praised yesterday by the groups involved in its development, including Indian tribes, utilities and consumer groups.
The plan is used to guide decisions by the Bonneville Power Administration, the federal power marketing agency based in Portland, which supplies about 45 percent of the electricity in the Northwest, mostly from hydroelectric dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Charles Hudson of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission said the energy conservation and wind power goals are important, but tribes remain concerned about what they consider to be separate plans for energy and for salmon protection.
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