"The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute provides an essential baseline educational foundation for policy considerations and advancements. It covers a broad spectrum of energy issues in a fair and balanced way. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity and would highly recommend the Institute for policy makers." - Rep. Norma Smith, Washington
The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute (LEHI) is designed to educate state legislators on the North American energy infrastructure and delivery system. High turnover in state legislative bodies decreases the institutional knowledge concerning complex energy issues in states and provincial legislatures. Legislators who develop state energy policy often lack a comprehensive understanding of how energy infrastructure operates. Through the Institute, legislators learn how to make responsible and informed policy choices by increasing their knowledge of the complex issues associated with the electricity, natural gas, and petroleum infrastructure; regulation governing this infrastructure; and the interdependencies of our energy sectors.
"I was one of the legislator's tasked with drafting and carrying a bill that reflected the recommendations of the governor's task force on climate change. The bill did not pass. I can't help but believe that we might have succeeded if I had the knowledge and resources available through LEHI when the legislation was being considered." - Sen. Mark Miller, Wisconsin
HOW IT WORKS
Legislators who are selected for LEHI commit to two, intensive three and one-half day sessions during the course of one year. Class sessions are taught by industry experts. Students who complete the program are awarded an energy policy planning certificate by the University of Idaho.
Gain a concrete understanding of the electric grid and how it operates
Learn how the various energy sectors interface to produce and deliver energy
Examine the rules and regulation of electric, natural gas and petroleum infrastructure
Understand the regulatory, financial and planning challenges associated with building new energy infrastructure
Apply technical knowledge to implement informed and effective energy policy
Understand the relationship between climate and energy
North American fuel mix: coal, gas, nuclear, petroleum, hydroelectric and renewables
Energy alternatives and limitations
Imported versus exported sources
Annual energy use by sector
State policy options and implications
Federal policy and regulation
Financing and markets
In order to join LEHI, legislators must be nominated by their respective leadership. They are then asked to commit to the class. If you are interested in joining LEHI, please contact your legislative leadership.
The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) partnered with the University of Idaho and the Department of Energy to create the initiative in 2009. Classes originally had two years to complete learning, but due to the success of the program, LEHI now operates annually. To date, over 90 legislators have graduated from the LEHI program.