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Brexit: UK-EU negotiations stall as May makes last-ditch plea for breakthrough – Politics live | Politics

All the day’s politics news, with Theresa May’s Brexit speech in Grimsby, and Jeremy Corbyn at Scottish Labour conference. Skip to main content The Guardian – Back to home Support The Guardian Available for everyone, funded by readers Contribute Subscribe Contribute Search jobs Sign in My account Comments & replies Public profile Account details Emails…

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Brexit: UK-EU negotiations stall as May makes last-ditch plea for breakthrough – Politics live | Politics

imageAll the day’s politics news, with Theresa May’s Brexit speech in Grimsby, and Jeremy Corbyn at Scottish Labour conference. Skip to main content The Guardian – Back to home Support The Guardian Available for everyone, funded by readers Contribute Subscribe Contribute Search jobs Sign in My account Comments & replies Public profile Account details Emails & marketing Membership Contributions Subscriptions Sign out Search switch to the International edition switch to the UK edition switch to the US edition switch to the Australia edition current edition: International edition News Opinion Sport Culture Lifestyle Show More News World news UK news Science Cities Global development Football Tech Business Environment Obituaries Opinion The Guardian view Columnists Cartoons Opinion videos Letters Sport Football Rugby union Cricket Tennis Cycling F1 Golf US sports Culture Books Music TV & radio Art & design Film Games Classical Stage Lifestyle Fashion Food Recipes Love & sex Health & fitness Home & garden Women Men Family Travel Money What term do you want to search? Search with google Make a contribution Subscribe International edition switch to the UK edition switch to the US edition switch to the Australia edition Search jobs Dating Holidays Digital Archive Discount Codes The Guardian app Video Podcasts Pictures Newsletters Today’s paper Inside the Guardian The Observer Guardian Weekly Crosswords Facebook Twitter Search jobs Dating Holidays Digital Archive Discount Codes UK UK politics Education Media Society Law Scotland Wales Northern Ireland More Politics live with Andrew Sparrow Politics Corbyn vows to ‘root out antisemitism in our party’ at Scottish Labour conference – as it happened
All the day’s politics news, with Theresa May’s Brexit speech in Grimsby, and Jeremy Corbyn at Scottish Labour conference
‘Let’s get it done’: May urges MPs to back her Brexit deal Hunt: future generation ‘will blame EU’ for talks failure
Home Office ad campaign tells EU citizens how to stay in UK What happens if May’s Brexit deal is voted down? And if it passes? Updated
Jeremy Corbyn at the Scottish Labour conference. Photograph: Duncan McGlynn/Getty Images Ben Quinn and Kevin Rawlinson
Fri 8 Mar 2019 19.17 GMT First published on Fri 8 Mar 2019 09.43 GMT
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Key events Show 1.58pm GMT 13:58 Corbyn: poverty and class is real divide in UK society 3.

23pm GMT 15:23 Barnier after May speech: EU ‘not interested in blame game’ 2.

04pm GMT 14:04 May warns of a “moment of crisis” if MPs reject Brexit deal 3.

17pm GMT 15:17 Government internal splits undermining Brexit talks – report 2.31pm GMT 14:31 Tory MPs unlikely to back May deal, ERG figure indicates 12.41pm GMT 12:41 May: Britain may “never leave” EU 12.54pm GMT 12:54 No Brexit could do “profound damage” to democracy – May Live feed Show 7.

17pm GMT 19:17
Closing summary We’re going to close down this live blog now. Thanks for reading and for all the comments. Here’s a summary of the latest events:
While he said Labour should focus its fire on the Conservatives, Jeremy Corbyn said he was “utterly determined” to rid the Labour party of antisemitism during his speech in Dundee. Corbyn also said the “real divide in our society” is about poverty and class and called on his own party to unite.

The Labour peer, Lord Falconer, said he would not lead an investigation into antisemitism if the EHRC opened its own. The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, set out a proposal on the backstop that was quickly shot down by the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay. The DUP’s Nigel Dodds also rejected it, saying it represented “nothing new”. You can read a summary of the day’s earlier events here .

And, for those wanting to read more, my colleagues Peter Walker , Daniel Boffey and Heather Stewart have the full story:
‘A slap in the face’: Barnier sets May on course for Brexit defeat Read more Facebook Twitter 6.47pm GMT 18:47
Lord Falconer , the Labour peer who has been in negotiations with the party about being appointed to examine its handling of antisemitism cases, has said he would take a step back if the Equality and Human Rights Commission decided to hold its own formal investigation.
He has told Jewish News :
In light of the commission coming in, I think we’ve got to put it on hold, see what the commission is going to do. If they are minded to do an investigation, they will have a range of statutory powers to get documents, emails, Whatsapp messages and witnesses, and they will do an investigation that will be completely independent from the Labour party.

So there is no point in me, with my firm of solicitors, coming in and doing exactly the same thing because it won’t carry the same degree of statutory support as the commission has.
Facebook Twitter 6.38pm GMT 18:38
Michel Barnier’s proposal on the backstop has not gone down well with the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay , who has tweeted:
Steve Barclay MP (@SteveBarclay) With a very real deadline looming, now is not the time to rerun old arguments. The UK has put forward clear new proposals.

We now need to agree a balanced solution that can work for both sides https://t.

co/yN9ZuiVj1M
March 8, 2019 Nor was it particularly popular with the Brexit-supporting DUP, whose deputy leader, Nigel Dodds , had this to say:
Nigel Dodds (@NigelDoddsDUP) Nothing new in what Barnier is offering.
This is a retreat back to the proposal of an Northern Ireland only backstop previously rejected by all sides in the House of Commons.

March 8, 2019 The EU’s chief negotiator outlined his ideas in a series of tweets following Theresa May’s speech earlier today:
Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) 👇 I briefed EU27 Ambassadors and EP today on the ongoing talks with #UK . Following the EU-UK statement of 20 Feb, the EU has proposed to the UK a legally binding interpretation of the #Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Most importantly:
March 8, 2019 Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) 2/5 The arbitration panel can already, under Article 178 WA, give UK the right to a proportionate suspension of its obligations under the backstop, as a last resort, if EU breaches its best endeavours/good faith obligations to negotiate alternative solutions.
March 8, 2019 Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) 3/5 EU ready to give legal force to all commitments from January letter of @eucopresident and @JunckerEU through joint interpretative statement. https://t.co/kCUbTk4nYA This will render best endeavour/good faith obligations even more actionable by an arbitration panel.
March 8, 2019 Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) 4/5 EU commits to give UK the option to exit the Single Customs Territory unilaterally, while the other elements of the backstop must be maintained to avoid a hard border.

UK will not be forced into customs union against its will.
March 8, 2019 Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) 5/5 The EU will continue working intensively over the coming days to ensure that the UK leaves the EU with an agreement.
March 8, 2019 Facebook Twitter 6.22pm GMT 18:22
A little more from Jeremy Corbyn’s speech in Dundee. He has insisted he is “utterly determined” to rid the Labour party of antisemitism.

He said that, rather than fighting within itself, his party should turn its fire on the Tories, whom he criticised for their “desperate” handling of Brexit negotiations and austerity policies.
With Labour struggling to deal with complaints of antisemitism, he said the party “must lead the fight against all types of racism”.
The only thing that can hold us back is if we were to turn our fire on each other rather than on the Tory government and the wealthy establishment interests they represent.
His speech came after an equality watchdog began enforcement action that could lead to it gaining access to internal communications between staff handling complaints.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced on Thursday it was launching an enforcement process which could lead to a formal investigation. Corbyn said:
Racism, religious bigotry and misogyny have no place whatsoever in any part of our movement. And we will root out antisemitism in our party, and in society at large. And I am utterly determined to achieve that.
He said it was important to return Labour to power both at Westminster and at Holyrood, so the party could deliver “real change”.

To get there, we as a party have to be united. That doesn’t mean we have no room for debate and disagreement, discussion.

They are the lifeblood of our democracy. But there is no justification for the abuse of anybody.
Facebook Twitter 6.14pm GMT 18:14
Responding to the Guardian’s investigation, which has found teachers are cleaning and paying for books and pens to plug the gaps in school funding, the Lib Dems’ education spokeswoman, Layla Moran , has said:
We are clearly in the midst of a crisis over school funding and these revelations must result in direct action by the Conservatives. This investigation should shame the Tory government.
With teachers covering for cleaners and parents donating money for essential services there is no way Conservative ministers can deny there is a lack of funding for our schools.
The secretary of state must begin an urgent listening exercise with frontline staff and reverse the budget cuts pursued after coalition, otherwise this crisis will only get worse. To fail to act is to leave both teachers and children in the midst of what is clearly a crisis.

You can read the full story here:
‘It’s dangerous’: full chaos of funding cuts in England’s schools revealed Read more Updated at 6.15pm GMT
Facebook Twitter 6.06pm GMT 18:06
A disabled MP has said she has to continuously fight with parliamentary authorities to get the support she needs to do her job.
During a debate on International Women’s Day, Marsha De Cordova said she has been denied the help she needs, adding: “It has made it very difficult for me.”
The Labour MP for Battersea and shadow disabilities minister said the House of Commons is “the one place where equality should be” and where people “shouldn’t have to fight for the support they need”.
She was talking about the inequalities women still face in 2019, saying they are “so much worse for working class women, for black women, women from ethnic minorities, and like myself, disabled women”.

And it is as a disabled woman that I want to just share something. I have faced many barriers in my life, many barriers in education, the workplace and so forth.

So, actually getting elected here was a huge achievement, but unfortunately obtaining the additional support that I need in this place to operate and function as an MP has been challenging.
I’m having to continuously fight for additional support.
De Cordova said the authorities know she has additional needs but said they told her they would not support them.
It has made it very difficult for me. I should be here, the people of Battersea have sent me to represent them, I shouldn’t be fighting the authorities here to get the additional support that I need.
But I will fight on, because that is what I have had to do throughout all of my life, to continue to fight.
A House of Commons spokesman has said:
It is vital that all democratically elected MPs are able to carry out their duties in and around Parliament, and we are very sorry to hear that Ms De Cordova has found it difficult to get adequate support from parliamentary authorities.
We have provided tailored support and tools to Ms De Cordova and are committed to addressing any outstanding concerns.

Facebook Twitter 5.57pm GMT 17:57
Eleven candidates have been confirmed for the upcoming Newport West by-election following the death of the Labour MP, Paul Flynn .
Newport city council published the full list of parliamentary candidates on Friday evening for the vote, which will be held on 4 April and will represent the first electoral test following the UK’s planned exit from the EU on 29 March.
The city has traditionally been a safe seat for Labour, but the result will be seen by commentators as a sign of how party support has been affected by Brexit , for which Newport voted by 56% to 44%.

The confirmed candidates are:
Labour – Ruth Jones Conservatives – Matthew Evans Ukip – Neil Hamilton Plaid Cymru – Jonathan Clark Welsh Liberal Democrats – Ryan Jones Green Party – Amelia Womack Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party – Richard Suchorzewski Renew – June Davies SDP – Ian McLean The For Britain Movement – Hugh Nicklin Democrats and Veterans Party – Phillip Taylor Flynn held the Newport West seat for 32 years and had a majority of 5,658 (13% of those who voted in 2017).
Facebook Twitter 5.43pm GMT 17:43
Here are some more details from Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee.
Advance excerpts had indicated he would seek to downplay the significance of the battles over crises over Brexit and Scottish independence by claiming “the real divide in our society” is about poverty and class and by focusing on climate change as one of the most pressing issues facing the UK.

My colleague, Severin Carrell , was at the conference and reports that the Labour leader has told delegates:
It’s working class communities that suffer the worst pollution and the worst air quality. It’s working class people who will lose their jobs as resources run dry. And it is working class people who will be left behind as the rich escape rising sea levels.
Big corporations will never do anything serious about it. The Conservative government will never do anything serious about it either. But Labour will make it a central objective of our industrial strategy.
We need to reduce our net emissions to zero by 2050 at the latest – it’s not just an ecological priority, it’s a socialist priority too.
Some of Labour’s pro-EU parliamentarians believe Corbyn’s remarks were designed to highlight his hostility to the anti-Brexit forces within the party.

Ian Murray , a Scottish Labour MP at the forefront of the pro-Europe campaign, said Corbyn was right to point out poverty and climate had been overshadowed by Brexit . But he added:
Where he is completely wrong is we can’t resolve these issues with Brexit because Brexit makes delivery on them that much harder. His timing is off. The most meaningful vote on Brexit, the biggest vote in parliamentary history, is next Tuesday.

So we need laser-like focus on that please, and the rest we can deal with later.
Stephen Doughty , a pro-referendum Welsh Labour backbencher, said Brexit is a “right-wing Tory project that threatens communities that depend on Labour. [There] is no such thing as a Labour Brexit or a jobs-first Brexit”.
Updated at 5.43pm GMT
Facebook Twitter 4.

59pm GMT 16:59
Early Evening Summary • Theresa May has urged parliament to “get it done” and back her Brexit deal, in an impassioned speech that offered no new concessions for wavering MPs before next week’s crucial vote.
Speaking at a dockside warehouse in the pro-leave town of Grimsby, May repeatedly declined to accept any personal responsibility for the ongoing uncertainty or give any clues as to what she would do if the vote was lost.
The speech prompted a withering response from the CBI, whose deputy head said the prime minister’s message was “not good enough”.
• The EU has made a counter offer to Theresa May in what would effectively result in a border being drawn in the Irish Sea, a scenario which the British government has already ruled out.
The prime minister’s apparent attempt to apportion the blame on the state of the negotiations to the EU left senior figures in Brussels deeply unimpressed.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said that he was confused by her suggestion that “one more push” by the EU could win the House of Commons around to the deal.
“The Brexit date is getting ever closer.

The ball is still rolling toward the cliffs of Dover,” he said.
• Jeremy Corbyn has said poverty and climate change are far greater priorities for Labour and the country than Brexit.
In advance excerpts of a speech to the Scottish Labour conference, Corbyn said his party was not “obsessed by constitutional questions like the others are.

We’re obsessed with tackling the problems people face in their daily lives.”
In what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to shift the focus away from his party’s deep divisions over Brexit, Corbyn said the greatest challenge posed to the UK was global warming.
• Relatives of people killed by security forces have met the Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, and asked her to resign for defending fatal shootings by soldiers during the Troubles.
A delegation of family members sat down with Bradley at Stormont House in Belfast on Friday to express concern over her comments in Westminster on Wednesday, when she said security force killings were not crimes and were the actions of people “fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”.
Bradley invited the relatives to her office to repeat apologies she made on Thursday, but Frances Meehan, whose brother Michael Donnelly was shot with a plastic bullet in 1981, said her position was “untenable”.

Updated at 5.25pm GMT
Facebook Twitter 4.49pm GMT 16:49
Rory Carroll
Relatives of people killed by security forces have met the Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley , and asked her to resign for defending fatal shootings by soldiers during the Troubles.
A delegation of family members sat down with Bradley at Stormont House in Belfast on Friday to express concern over her comments in Westminster on Wednesday, when she said security force killings were not crimes and were the actions of people “fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”.

Bradley invited the relatives to her office to repeat apologies she made on Thursday , but Frances Meehan, whose brother Michael Donnelly was shot with a plastic bullet in 1981, said her position was “untenable”.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Meehan said Bradley’s apology was not sufficient to undo the damage given her position in cabinet.
Relatives for Justice, a group of bereaved families that sent members to the meeting, said afterwards: “They looked her in the eye and told her she needed to resign.”
Relatives 4 Justice (@RelsForJustice) Families emerge from meeting with Karen Bradley – they looked her in the eye and told her she needed to resign pic.

twitter.com/Ri3YcZEQ9R
March 8, 2019 Updated at 4.

51pm GMT
Facebook Twitter 4.36pm GMT 16:36
Michel Barnier has been tapping away on his iPhone in the last half an an hour to outline a bit more about what the EU is prepared to offer the UK
How to see this? One view is that the EU is making these proposals public in order to mitigate the impact of a ‘blame game’ if talks break down.
Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) 5/5 The EU will continue working intensively over the coming days to ensure that the UK leaves the EU with an agreement.

March 8, 2019 Updated at 4.36pm GMT
Facebook Twitter 4.30pm GMT 16:30
We’re hearing that Jeremy Corbyn is due to take the stage in about ten minutes at the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee.
Facebook Twitter 4.21pm GMT 16:21
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has told ambassadors from member states that the block is willing to give Britain a unilateral exit from single customs territory while preserving other elements of the backstop agreement, according to FT Brussels Corresondent Mehreen Khan.
Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) Barnier’s other solutions on the backstop include giving legal force to the Tusk and Juncker letter in a joint interpretive statement. EU side think this will bolsters the “best endeavour/good faith” language on how the backstop arbitration panel works
March 8, 2019 Facebook Twitter 1 of 6 Newest Newer Older Oldest Topics Politics Politics live with Andrew Sparrow Brexit Theresa May.

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Space scientists want to pay you $19,000 to lie in bed for 2 months – CNN

(CNN) If you always struggle to get out of bed in the morning, this might be the perfect gig for you. Scientists are looking for women to stay in bed for 60 days to help them study how weightlessness affects the human body. As a reward for participating in the study, they will pay 16,500…

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Space scientists want to pay you $19,000 to lie in bed for 2 months – CNN

image(CNN) If you always struggle to get out of bed in the morning, this might be the perfect gig for you.
Scientists are looking for women to stay in bed for 60 days to help them study how weightlessness affects the human body. As a reward for participating in the study, they will pay 16,500 euros, or about $18,522. When astronauts are in space, the weightlessness caused by microgravity changes their body. The reduced physical stress in space leads their muscles and bones to break down and body fluids to shift toward their head, according to the German Aerospace Center, which was commissioned by NASA and the European Space Agency to conduct the study.

A NASA-funded study says long trips in space could destroy astronauts’ stomachs and cause cancer By simulating weightlessness’ effects with bed rest, scientists hope to develop methods to counteract the impacts of weightlessness so that astronauts do not have to spend most of their days on the space station exercising.

The researchers have already created a “short-arm human centrifuge” that generates artificial gravity and corrects the distribution of body fluids. They are hoping to test it out on two-thirds of the study participants each day. Read More “Crewed spaceflight will continue to be important in the future in order to carry out experiments in microgravity, but we must make it as safe as possible for the astronauts,” says Hansjörg Dittus , executive board member for space research and technology at the German Aerospace Center. “This bed rest study … offers space researchers from all over Europe and the USA the opportunity to work together and jointly acquire as much scientific knowledge about human physiology as possible.” Participants will do everything lying down All activities — including eating, showering and going to the bathroom — must be done while lying down.

Each participant will have a private room and stay in a bed inclined at 6 ° with the head end downwards. A government-funded Swedish art project will pay you to do whatever you want A team of nutritionists will curate the meals so that participants do not gain weight and have all the nutrients they need. However, the German Aerospace Center says on its website that the meals are not “extra healthy,” and there will sometimes be pancakes or other sweet treats. The study is composed of two rounds.

The first group of 24 test participants — 12 men and 12 women — began on Tuesday. It’s not clear yet how many participants will be needed for the next round, which will be conducted at the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, Germany, from September to December 2019. The scientists are looking for healthy women between the ages of 24 and 55 years who are non-smokers to participate in the study, according to the study’s website. Participants must be able to speak German. In 2017 NASA conducted a similar bed rest study , in which 11 people spent 30 days in bed..

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sleep study:NASA Will Pay You Rs 13 Lakh To Sleep In Bed And Do Nothing For Two Months – Indiatimes.com

> NASA Will Pay You Rs 13 Lakh To Sleep In Bed And Do Nothing For Two Months NASA Will Pay You Rs 13 Lakh To Sleep In Bed And Do Nothing For Two Months Updated: Mar 29, 2019, 10:22 AM IST 6.6 K SHARES SAVE Do you find yourself feeling lazy very often? Taking…

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sleep study:NASA Will Pay You Rs 13 Lakh To Sleep In Bed And Do Nothing For Two Months – Indiatimes.com

image> NASA Will Pay You Rs 13 Lakh To Sleep In Bed And Do Nothing For Two Months NASA Will Pay You Rs 13 Lakh To Sleep In Bed And Do Nothing For Two Months Updated: Mar 29, 2019, 10:22 AM IST 6.6 K SHARES SAVE
Do you find yourself feeling lazy very often? Taking naps during the workday? Looking forward to your bed at night?
Congratulations, because you’re eligible to work with NASA. You won’t be designing rockets, but you’ll get paid to lie down on the job!
NASA
The US space agency has teamed up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to conduct a study on sleeping in artificial gravity. It’s the first time that scientists will study how artificial gravity could help astronauts better cope with the rigors of space .
For the experiment, NASA is looking for 12 men and 12 women between the ages of 24 and 55 to basically lie in bed for two months. And for their trouble, they’ll be paid a hefty $18500, or approximately Rs 12.81 lakh.

Don’t Miss IIT Madras Students Build Robot To Clean Sewage Tanks, And Save Lives Of Sewage Cleaners 7.5 K SHARES
The AGBRESA (Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study) will take place at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Cologne, at their envihab medical research facility. And not just sleep, but all activities like experiments, tests, meals, and leisure will happen with the subjects lying in bed.

During the study, the volunteers will also not be allowed to exert themselves. They will also be subjected to various tests of their cognition, muscle strength, balance, and cardiovascular function throughout the duration. Additionally, half the participants will be subjected to the effects of an anti-gravity chamber.
Scientists hope to compare the physical deterioration of the two at the end of the study and uncover data that this technique could help astronauts in space .
“Although the effects of weightlessness are primarily investigated on the International Space Station, analogues such as :envihab are helpful when studying certain research topics under controlled conditions on Earth,” says Leticia Vega, Associate Chief Scientist for International Collaborations for NASA’s Human Research Program.
DLR
The thing is, when in space for a long time, astronauts have a load of physical consequences to deal with.

Because of the weightlessness, their muscles can atrophy, which is why they have to work out up there more than they would have on Earth. There’s also a considerable loss in bone density, that can lead to easier breaks. And that’s on top of the cosmic radiation, stress of isolation, and mental trauma from being cooped up in a tiny box with the same people for months or years.
If this study proves fruitful, it means NASA could actually spend money on developing antigravity devices for the ISS, and especially for spacecraft to distant places like Mars. At the very least then, those astronauts will be physically healthier. .

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Idaho Utility Spurns Coal, Pledges ‘100-Percent Clean Energy By 2045’ : NPR

Enlarge this image Idaho Power says it already gets nearly half its energy from hydroelectric dams such as the Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River, just south of Boise. The utility plans to phase out its use of coal power plants. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Idaho Power says…

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Idaho Utility Spurns Coal, Pledges ‘100-Percent Clean Energy By 2045’ : NPR

imageEnlarge this image Idaho Power says it already gets nearly half its energy from hydroelectric dams such as the Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River, just south of Boise. The utility plans to phase out its use of coal power plants. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Idaho Power says it already gets nearly half its energy from hydroelectric dams such as the Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River, just south of Boise. The utility plans to phase out its use of coal power plants.
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Idaho Power plans to stop using coal energy and rely instead on hydroelectric, solar and wind resources, the utility says. The utility vows that 100 percent of energy will come from “clean” sources by 2045. Utility companies have made similar pledges in only a handful of states.
Idaho Power customers increasingly see clean energy that doesn’t rely on carbon dioxide-producing fossil fuels as a priority, the company says.

“We believe this goal is attainable,” Idaho Power President and CEO Darrel Anderson said in announcing the plan.
Idaho Power says it has already agreed to stop using two coal power plants by 2025 and that it’s considering how to shut down its third and final coal plant.

“The company that serves over half-a-million customers calls the effort ‘Clean Today, Cleaner Tomorrow,’ ” member station Boise State Public Radio reports . “Nearly 50 percent of the electricity the company currently generates comes from hydro power. About a fifth comes from coal.”
As it announced the news, Idaho Power also said it has reached a deal to buy electricity from a 120-megawatt solar farm, which will be built south of Twin Falls. That facility is still in the planning phase, and the deal will require state regulators’ approval.
“Similar clean energy pledges have been made by utilities in Iowa, Minnesota and California,” Boise State Public Radio’s Matt Guilhem reports for NPR’s Newscast unit.

Across the U.S., Idaho is far from alone in shutting down coal power plants. As NPR’s Jeff Brady reports, the domestic U.

S.

coal industry is declining — even as exports to China and other Asian countries are rising.
“Despite President Trump’s effort to boost the domestic coal industry, power plants continue to shut down. They can’t compete against cheaper natural gas and renewable energy,” Brady reports for NPR’s Newscast.

“Environmental groups have cheered the decline as scientists warn carbon dioxide emissions will have to be dramatically reduced quickly to avoid the worst effects of climate change.


In 2018, the U.S. exported more coal than it had in the past four years, the Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

#TodayInEnergy – In 2018, U.S.

#coal #exports were the highest in five years https://t.co/7DiCEtxLmN #EnergyTrade pic.twitter.com/wHChEp22Ht
— EIA (@EIAgov) March 27, 2019 But the agency also reported exponential gains for solar and wind over the past decade, saying, “U.

S.

solar generation has increased from 2 million MWh [megawatt-hours] in 2008 to 96 million MWh in 2018, and wind generation rose from 55 million MWh in 2008 to 275 million MWh” last year.
U.S. solar generation has increased from 2 million MWh in 2008 to 96 million MWh in 2018, and wind generation rose from 55 million MWh in 2008 to 275 million MWh in 2018. https://t.

co/fpwO6ZbpXe #Electricity pic.twitter.com/yaqngg2Efp
— EIA (@EIAgov) March 27, 2019 When hydroelectric power is included, renewable energy sources in the U.S. generated “a new record of 742 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in 2018, nearly double the 382 million MWh produced in 2008” the EIA says .
Idaho Power says it has 17 hydroelectric plants on the Snake River.

It also owns three power plants that are fueled by natural gas, which is burned to spin turbine blades and produce energy.
The Idaho plan was welcomed by the Idaho Conservation League, which says it has been working for years to see the state’s power utility commit to clean energy.

“We’re enthusiastic about it and eager to continue to assist the utility on how to achieve this goal,” said Ben Otto, the Idaho Conservation League’s energy associate, in a published statement . “We’re hopeful this means they’ll work on developing renewable sources of energy built in Idaho by and for Idahoans. That way, Idaho’s economy, businesses, workers and families benefit, and we can wean ourselves of a dependence on out-of-state sources of energy.”
In an interview with the Idaho Press , Otto added, “Climate change and clean energy shouldn’t be a political issue.

” Of the officials at Idaho Power who made the decision for the utility to go green, he said, “They’re following the dollars; they’re following the science.”
Adam Richins, the utility’s vice president of customer operations and business development, tells Guilhem that the company’s plans acknowledge the possibility that new technologies could further reshape how electric utilities serve their customers.

Those new technologies could include nuclear power, which may be produced by small modular reactors that the U.S. Department of Energy and its partners plan to test in eastern Idaho. They would be the first such reactors in the country, The Associated Press reported when the deal was reached in late 2018.
The modular nuclear plan centers on the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls. After Idaho Power announced its clean energy plan, Mayor Sean Coletti of nearby Ammon, Idaho, asked the utility via Twitter if it will include nuclear energy.
“We’ll be evaluating all kinds of new, existing and emerging technologies to help us reach our goal,” the utility replied.

“That includes looking into nuclear technology, such as the small modular reactors planned in eastern Idaho.


Nuclear power has deep roots in Idaho.

As the Department of Energy has noted , it was a reactor in Idaho that generated the first electricity from nuclear energy, in December of 1951..

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