The EPA: Among the most feared three-letters in the alphabet

The latest target for the EPA, according to a story from north Idaho, is the wood and pellet stove. Wood stoves currently must not emit more than 7.5 grams per hour of particulate emissions. In February the EPA could decide to move that number down to 4.5 grams, to be followed by a requirement that the standard be 1.3 grams by 2020. Expressed differently, in 2015 new stoves could be forced to their emissions by 60 percent, then a few years later by another 29 percent. Arguing against cleaner air is akin to being against baseball and hotdogs. But, here
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PERSI letter to legislators: Methinks thou doth protest too much

Last year, Idaho taxpayers pumped about $317 million into the state pension system, according to data from the state government retirement agency, the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI). That’s about 8.6 percent more than the year before, or $25 million. What could Idaho do with $25 million? Perhaps pay its great teachers more, repair roads or bridges or cut or eliminate some taxes. But that extra $25 million—the result of higher wages, additional employees on government payrolls and higher pension contribution rates—probably isn’t enough to sustain our state’s retirement system. Critics of PERSI, including Idaho Freedom Foundation and
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If you want green energy, be prepared to pay for it

Idahoans groaning under the weight of their summer electric bills need to better understand the implications of so-called “green energy,” pushed by the environmental community. Currently, for example, Boise residents pay Idaho Power a base rate of 8.57 cents per KWh (non-summer rates are 7.24 cents per KWh). There are other adjustments and fees, but these are the base rates. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration provides a table of rates per state of the total delivered price. The May data pegs Idaho residential rates at 9.64 cents per KWh, with only hydro-power heavy Washington lower at 8.93
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Is the militarization of police making us safer?

The images that make Ferguson, Mo., look like a war zone demonstrate the dangers of militarizing our police forces. The New York Times has developed an interactive map to see precisely where military-grade equipment has been distributed to state and local police. For example, you can see that one grenade launcher has been sent to a law enforcement agency in Blaine and Bannock counties, while one law enforcement agency in Kootenai, Ada and Canyon counties has received a mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle (MRAP). While many people have heard about the “free” surplus equipment provided to local police forces, they often
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No one is dying from a lack of Medicaid expansion

  Some who advocate Medicaid expansion claim that failing to expand Medicaid will result in thousands of people dying. When translated to Idaho specifically, those estimates typically range from 200-600 people dying every year. While this might be a compelling narrative if it were true, the truth is far less persuasive. The study on which most of these claims are based was methodologically flawed from the beginning. It included data from just three states, two of which showed a decrease in mortality when Medicaid was expanded and one of which showed an increase in mortality when Medicaid was expanded—hardly conclusive.
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