Forum: Energy Policies: The Inherent Choices and Sometimes Difficult Trade-Offs
Monday, July 8, 2019, 11:45am- 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
John Gardner, Ben Otto, Adam Richins
Energy policies impact family lifestyles, local health and economics and are central to providing a livable planet. AND complexity reigns: Should energy choices be left to the market? Shifting policies and electric vehicles? Dams vs. salmon? Future use of coal – environmental regs or economics? Building codes and energy efficiency? Energy grid issues – location decision makers, security concerns, central vs. dispersed distribution?


Join City Club of Boise Monday, July 8th, 2019 for a lunch forum on choices around Energy Policies with three panelists from the fields that shape the future.




$20 City Club Member price

$27 Non-member price

$5 Pre-registration Listen Only price

$10 Day-of Listen Only price

$350 per Table of ten ppl



Audio Recording




John Gardner, PH.D.

Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Professor

Director of CAES Energy Efficiency Institute (CEERI)


Dr. Gardner is a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Boise State and directs the energy efficiency activities at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies. John recently spent 6 months at the Universities of Melbourne and Auckland studying advanced control of microgrids. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed research publications, 2 textbooks, co-inventor of 3 US Patents and gave a talk in the TEDxBoise conference earlier this year. John is a registered professional engineer in the state of Idaho and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


  • Bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University in 1981
  • MS and Ph.D. (all in Mechanical Engineering) from Ohio State in 1983 and 1987, respectively
  • TEDxBoise talk:



    Benjamin Otto

    Energy Associate,

    Idaho Conservation League


    Ben protects Idaho’s air quality and climate stability by engaging directly with utilities and state regulators to advocate for a reliable, affordable, and clean energy future. Over his tenure, ICL’s energy program has caused Idaho’s energy conservation programs to expand, supported a growing solar power sector, and achieved agreements 100% clean energy commitments from Idaho utilities and major cities.


    Ben serves on the boards of the Northwest Energy Coalition, Renewable Northwest, the Idaho Clean Energy Association, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. He holds a degree in experiential education from Prescott College, a master’s degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School, and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. Outside of work, Ben enjoys Idaho’s vast wild lands and excellent quality of life.


    Adam J. Richins

    Vice President of Customer Operations and Business Development,

    Idaho Power


    Adam J. Richins, Vice President of Customer Operations and Business Development, oversees Customer Operations, Business Development, and Customer Relations and Energy Efficiency. Richins has been with Idaho Power since 2011, when he joined the company as Senior Counsel in the Legal department. Previously, Richins worked at the law firm of Stoel Rives, where he litigated complex business disputes and negotiated multi-million dollar commercial transactions. Richins also clerked for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as an engineer on large construction projects, including airports and schools.


    Richins holds two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and a second in civil engineering from Columbia University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He earned his law degree from the University of Washington with high honors. Richins graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 2016.


    “How Does Your State Make Electricity?” An interactive graphical representation of how electric generation in each state changed from 2001 to 2017. From The New York Times, Dec. 24, 2018


    2018 ENERGY TRENDS ACROSS STATE LEGISLATURES - from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Including an overview and segments on Solar Bills, Clean Energy Policies, Electric Vehicle Fees, Carbon Policy, State “Green New Deal” Legislation


    Plugged In: STATE AND FEDERAL ENERGY NEWSLETTER from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Updated monthly on various forms of energy, including nuclear.


    Professor John Gardner’s: TEDxBoise talk: “What if fossil fuels had never existed?”

 " rel="noopener" target="_blank">Energy efficiency and clean energy information from the Idaho Conservation League


    Energy Information from the Idaho Power Company


    City of Boise – The City’s Energy Future


    “Idaho Energy Landscape” A comprehensive report from the Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, Print Date, February 2019


    Northwest Energy Coalition – Members include civic organizations, utilities, human service organizations and businesses. Web site includes numerous reports and white papers on regional energy topics.



    City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, Northwest Nazarene University and the NNU School of Business and our Annual sponsor, Idaho Humanities Council. The 2019 Forum Series is sponsored by the contributions made by AARP of Idaho, Bank of Idaho, Echelon Group, Micron, and St. Luke's Health Systems. We are pleased to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, and University of Idaho. Our media partners include Boise State Public Radio, 670 KBOI, Idaho Public Television, Idaho Statesman, and Peppershock Media.


    Chair: Betsy McBride