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
The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) partnered with the University of Idaho and the Department of Energy to found the initiative in 2009. In 2012 the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) joined the effort making the Institute a trans North America Effort. Originally the Institute crossed two calendar years to complete learning, but due to the success of the program, LEHI now operates annually. To date, more than 181 legislators and 13 non-legislative policymakers have graduated from the LEHI program.