Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

Three Musketeers? Three Stooges?

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 10:58pm

Oh… My… DOG!  Imagine Julie Jorgensen, Dennis Egan, and Mark Andrew, all for one, and one for all!  Where does the public fit in?

I love solar, but with these three, their track records, lobbying shenanigans, and their public project and public money magnetism, I’m going to take a very careful and skeptical look.

More solar could be coming By Danielle Killey on Jun 28, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

Red Wing could soon have many options for locals interested in solar power.

GreenMark Solar, a Minnesota-based solar energy company, announced Friday it has acquired land in Red Wing for solar garden projects.

The company, which is leasing property from area farmers, will work to have permits completed by the end of the year and plans to start construction next spring, said Dennis Egan, who has been assisting GreenMark.

“We’re looking at the configuration, but it potentially could be three separate sites,” Egan said, producing up to 15 megawatts of solar electricity combined.

Community solar gardens let local residents, businesses and other organizations purchase subscriptions. GreenMark’s projects would offer subscriptions to Xcel Energy customers.

“I am so pleased and proud to be working with GreenMark Solar to offer area businesses, institutions and residents the opportunity to purchase solar electricity at a discount without having to purchase solar panels to install on their own property,” Egan said.

GreenMark currently has a solar project under construction on top of parking ramps at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“As a state pioneer in creating substantial solar expansion, GreenMark is enthused to be offering subscriptions to our solar gardens in Goodhue County and other counties surrounding Goodhue,” said Julie Jorgensen, GreenMark Solar CEO.

The announcement comes on the heels of another potential solar garden project; earlier this month, Red Wing City Council members directed staff to work with Minnesota Community Solar on a lease for a 1-megawatt garden on city-owned property at Highways 19 and 61.

Julie Jorgensen (Julie Jorgensen’s outdated CV) was a Chief co-conspirator in the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project, thankfully now virtually defunct (discounting its zombie qualities.  For more information go to and search “Excelsior Energy” or “Mesaba Project” or “Julie Jorgensen” or “Tom Micheletti” or “boondoggle” or “coal gasification” or “carbon capture” or “sequestration” or “IRRRB” or just “IRR” or “Iron Range Resources” or “Renewable Development Fund” and of course go to the Citizens Against the Mesaba Project and settle in for a good read.  And from a little over a year ago — says it sold, but who knows the real story:

Tom & Julie’s house is for sale  February 2nd, 2014

And this on the money they sucked out of the IRRB… how much has been written off?  And then there’s the state’s “Renewable Development Fund”   Again! Legislative Auditor on IRRRB! April 19th, 2015

And Dennis Egan, he’s front man on solar projects HERE?  In Red Wing???  Well, for sure he’s no longer ED of Minnesota Industrial Sand Council (that’s a google cache, I got a 404, “the site is crashed and should be repaired.”  It might be different by the time you see this, I’ll check tomorrow).

April Fool on April Fools Day!   April 1st, 2013

Mayor Egan Resigns    March 7th, 2013

Where’s the Mayor’s resignation letter?   March 4th, 2013

7p TONIGHT – Red Wing City Council Meeting  February 25th, 2013

Mayor Egan to resign? Sand mining bill introduced!  February 23rd, 2013

Last Mayor Egan post before Council meeting  February 11th, 2013

KARE 11 turns up the heat on RW Mayor Egan  February 7th, 2013

Red Wing Mayor Egan exposed  February 6th, 2013

Mayor Egan – the voice of frac sand mining!  February 5th, 2013

And then there’s garbologist Mark Andrew, champion of the HERC garbage burner in downtown Minneapolis.

Here’s some info about his garbage burner:

The “Burner County” resource page–resources to better understand why Hennepin County owns, and Covanta operates, the “HERC” garbage incinerator in Downtown Minneapolis, MN

At a Mayoral debate, he did an inventive Al Gore:

That didn’t phase Andrew, who reiterated his intention to install solar panels on city, park and school buildings to “set an example” for Minneapolis businesses and residents. Describing his green accomplishments on the county board, he said was the “creator” of the Midtown Greenway transit corridor, a version of history that glosses over the contributions of citizen advocates, and that he “created” the city’s recycling program.

And Mpls. garbage divides mayoral hopefuls – MPR News.  Needless to say he didn’t get the job.

And now, these three are selling solar in the Red Wing area.  What are they cooking up?  Read the fine print very carefully, and keep all the public money tied down.


Categories: Citizens

Supremes on Michigan v. EPA

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 11:36am

Here it is, Michigan v. EPA:

Michigan v. EPA   U.S. Supreme Court File No. 14-46

Given this decision, it’s going to be hard for any agency to argue that it shouldn’t do a solid cost benefit analysis, and one that includes verification and analysis of benefits!  That’s a good thing given the outrageous benefits claims I’ve seen in transmission proceedings.  Check this part of the Order early on (I’m just going over it now):

In accordance with Executive Order, the Agency issued a “Regulatory Impact Analysis” alongside its regulation.This analysis estimated that the regulation would force power plants to bear costs of $9.6 billion per year. Id., at 9306. The Agency could not fully quantify the benefits of reducing power plants’ emissions of hazardous air pollutants; to the extent it could, it estimated that these benefits were worth $4 to $6 million per year. Ibid. The costs to power plants were thus between 1,600 and 2,400 times as great as the quantifiable benefits from reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants. The Agency continued that its regulations would have ancillary benefits—including cutting power plants’ emissions of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, substances that are not covered by the hazardous-air-pollutants program. Although the Agency’s appropriate-and-necessary finding did not rest on these ancillary effects, id., at 9320, the regulatory impact analysis took them into account, increasing the Agency’s estimate of the quantifiable benefits of its regulation to $37 to $90 billion per year, id., at 9306. EPA concedes that the regulatory impact analysis “played no role” in its appropriate-and-necessary finding. Brief for Federal Respondents 14.

Michigan v. EPA, p. 4.  The regulatory impact analysis included the information, it was in the record, but EPA says that it “played no role” in that decision.  So can’t they just reissue it, state they took that into account and used it as a basis for its decision and everyone can go home?  AAAARGH!

And here’s a highlight where I actually agree (!) with a sentence in Thomas’ Concurrence:

Statutory ambiguity thus becomes an implicit delegation of rule-making authority, and that authority is used not to find the best meaning of the text, but to formulate legally binding rules to fill in gaps based on policy judgments made by the agency rather than Congress.

Dissents, p. 3 (pdf p. 20 of 47).


Categories: Citizens

Once more with feeling?

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 9:42pm

As Ed Berger said, “Tryin’ is lyin’ cuz if you were tryin’ you’d be doin’ it!” So now, it’s time to try, once more with feeling!

True, I’ll never be able to replace my Selmer VI.  Of all the things stolen while I was on my last trip before law school, which was pretty much everything I owned, the loss of my horn hurt the most of all.  That was the worst of the high price I paid to go to law school and that last run to try to make some dough… sigh… that sure didn’t work.  But Friday, driving around town, we stopped at a garage sale, and it was 50% off day.  I found a workable cheap horn, workable and utilitarian, certainly nothing like my Mark VI.  It has a leak somewhere in the low end but it’s an improvement on the others I’d found, ones that were way old, cool wall hangings but without that feel, not real playable, very old and creaky and leaky.  Wishful thinking, I’d scored a preowned Beechler S5S without deep tooth marks a while back, and I’m set up with a box of weak LaVozs.  I think this will be enough to let me know if my cracked teeth can handle this.

Whew, serious woodshed time!  Neighbors will probably shoot me!


Categories: Citizens

Ma’am, come down off the pole!

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 9:45pm

Ma’am, come down off the pole!

Come down off the pole! Ma’am, Ma’am, come down off the pole!

“… white men have an equality resulting from a presence of a lower caste, which cannot exist where white men fill the position here occupied by the servile race.”

Jefferson Davis, 1858, Pres. of the Confederate States.

Time for it to come down. Even Walmart gets that…

Categories: Citizens

The Supreme’s have been busy

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 10:37am

Here are the actual Opinions (and the Dissents are … stunning… hilarious… OH… MY… DOG!):

14-114_6-25-15_King v. Burwell

13-1371_6-25-15_Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

14-556_3204_6-26-15 – Obergefell v. Hodges

Turns out our own Rep. Frank Hornstein has a tie to this — very cool:

I feel a personal connection to history today. Around a year after my Mom’s death in 1998, my father sold the Cincinnati home I grew up in to James Obergefell and John Arthur. A few years later I visited that home with my father, brother and sister and James and John gave us a tour, proudly showing off the renovations and improvements they made to the place. Scott Dibble’s text to me a few minutes ago says it all: LOVE WINS. Thank you James Obergefell for your courage and activism and may John Arthur’s name forever be a blessing


Categories: Citizens

FERC rejected Petition for Rulemaking, on to DOE!

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 9:48am

After a day in the bowels of FERC’s docket system as RM15-22-000, FERC rejected the BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line Petition for Rulemaking.  It’s a binary thing, has to be either one or the other, so now it’s in the DOE’s hands.

FERC REJECTION_RM15-22-000  20150625-3025(30664807)

So, DOE, what cha gonna do?  You’ve been thinking about it, but it’s been 10 years since Section 1222 was passed.


And the grand finale of the Administrative Procedure Act, Section 553:

(e) Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

Categories: Citizens

FERC accepts BLOCK Plains & Eastern Petition for Rulemaking

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 10:30pm



When filing BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma’s Petition for Rulemaking, because it doesn’t have a docket number, it’s not an existing docket, it must be filed, and then FERC staff decides whether to accept it, the next step in deciding what to do with it.  Our Petition for Rulemaking has been accepted!  Now they will have to decide what they’ll do with it!

Here’s the FERC Notice:

Acceptance for Filing ——————— The FERC Office of the Secretary has accepted the following electronic submission for filing (Acceptance for filing does not constitute approval of any application or self-certifying notice):

Accession No.: 201506165371

Docket(s) No.: RM15-22-000

Filed By: BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma -Signed By: Carol Overland F

Filing Type: Utility Accounting Request(??)

Filing Desc: Petition for Rulemaking of Regulations for Filing Applications and Review of Transmission Line Projects under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 of BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line under RM15-22.

Submission Date/Time: 6/16/2015 2:25:40 PM

Filed Date: 6/16/2015 2:25:40 PM

Your submission is now part of the record for the above Docket(s) and available in FERC’s eLibrary system at:

If you would like to receive e-mail notification when additional documents are added to the above docket(s), you can eSubscribe by docket at:

Here are the filings (each was advised of the other Petition for Rulemaking so everyone knows):

FERC_Petition for Rulemaking_Attachments_FINAL

DOE_Petition for Rulemaking_Attachments_FINAL

Note we also filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the DOE’s Office of General Counsel.  Let them argue between themselves and figure out just who is going to do it and when and get it MOVING FORWARD!  Rulemaking is long overdue, and FYI, DOE, you have no business making any decision, doing any review, without rules.

Categories: Citizens

Here’s why it’s good the Mesaba Project was not built!

Sun, 06/14/2015 - 8:42am

Remember the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project (see Legalectric posts and Citizens Against the Mesaba Project’s “Camp Site”), the boondoggle coal gasification plant that almost was, the project that got every legislative perk possible, got financing and grants based on wishful thinking and that “something else” that we just can’t identify (without which, who would think this was a good idea?  That plant that was to be built, according to the special legislation for this project, on a site WITH INFRASTRUCTURE?  This site… dig the infrastructure!

Anyway, it wasn’t built here.  But a similar plant WAS built in Indiana, the Edwardsport plant owned by Duke Energy.  As with the Mesaba Project it was proposed at a reasonable price, legislators were first told $700 million, and then it went upwards of $2.11 billion.  For Edwardsport, same story, and that price kept going up, up, up, and in Indiana, it was so extreme that costs recoverable from ratepayers were capped by the Indiana Public Utility Commission at $2.9 BILLION.  It was allowed to be built, and it started operating, sort of…  Average output has been 41%, when an 80+% capacity factor was promised.  Repairs?  That’s putting it mildly.  Now they’re going to try to get cost recovery for that.

Problems pile up at Edwardsport 06-14-2015

Now, let’s not all forget all the money given by the Joyce Foundation to support this nonsense.


Here’s a specific and eloquent comment from Michael Mullet, very involved in opposition to the Edwardsport fiasco:

    You raise what is definitely the “bottom line” question for Edwardsport given the huge subsidy which almost 800,000 Indiana ratepayers have been paying and are continuing to pay to Duke Energy every month for Edwardsport generation.     Based on what DEI customers had paid to the Company for Edwardsport and the plant’s net generation through March 2014, the cumulative cost since Edwardsport costs (including CWIP charges) began appearing in customer rates in 2009 was approximately 57 cents per kwh and the current cost for only the twelve month period under review in pending Cause No. 43114-IGCC-12&13 was approximately 33 cents per kwh.  See Direct Testimony of Ralph C. Smith, Joint Intervenors Exhibit A, IURC Causes Nos. 43114-IGCC-12&13, filed December 15, 2014, pp. 48-54.     Complaints by Duke Energy and other Indiana IOUs that the costs of energy efficiency under Energizing Indiana were “excessive’” resulted in the Indiana General Assembly abruptly terminating that program in 2014 even though an impartial third party concluded that its costs were approximately 4 cents per kwh of electricity saved.    Complaints by Duke Energy and other Indiana IOUs that the costs of customer credits for rooftop solar power in the range of 9 to 13 cents per kwh represent an unfair and unaffordable subsidy to approximately 500 net metering customers statewide also resulted in serious legislative consideration of a bill (thankfully not resulting in any enacted legislation to date) to terminate that program as well.     In this context of sustainable resources being “too costly” at a level of 4 to 13 cents per kwh, it would seem long overdue for Indiana’s regulators (or, alternatively, its legislators and its Governor) either to impose a reasonable “operating cost cap” on Edwardsport charges to customers or, failing that, to shut the plant down as grossly uneconomic and a monumental waste of scarce ratepayer resources in the face of Edwardsport costs for millions of mwh of coal gas generation with no carbon capture let alone sequestration which are multiple orders of magnitude greater than those for end-use efficiency under Energizing Indiana  or rooftop solar under Net Metering.     This incredible ”double standard” to subsidize Indiana’s favorite ”crony capitalists” at Duke Energy and Peabody Coal (whose Bear Run mine in southwest Indiana supplies 100% of Ewardsport’s coal) in order to permit them to spew millions of tons of unregulated CO2 annually into the global atmosphere should end ASAP.                                                                                                         Michael A. Mullet  
Categories: Citizens

Senators and Representatives stand up for the people!

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 3:44pm

WOW!  Hot off the press, U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton from Arkansas, Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee, and  U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack, and Bruce Westerman have all signed on to a letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to extend the comment period on the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project.

Lawmakers Reques

t for Extension of Time for Comments

And here’s their press release:

Federal Lawmakers Request More Time for Comment Period on Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project

In their press release, they make it easy for all of you to send your request too… so just do it!

Written comments should be addressed as follows: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20), 1222 Program, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Electronic comments can be emailed to [and also send to the DOE assigned staff person,] The Department will make comments available as they are received. Additional information from the Department is available at

Please take a few minutes and send them a hearty THANK YOU!!!

Senator Boozman (AR) Contact Page

Senator Cotton (AR) Contact Page

Senator Alexander (TN) Contact Page

Rep. Rick Crawford

Rep. French Hill

Rep. Steve Womack

Rep. Bruce Westerman

And in the Arkansas News:

Congressional delegation seeks comment extension for transmission project
Categories: Citizens

BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line docket filings

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 1:51pm

QUICK — take a few seconds and send a missive to BOTH AND and ask for 1) an extension of time to file comments, at least to September 11, 2015; and 2) public hearings across the affected area, as they did for the DEIS.


Hot off the press, here are the BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma Initial Filings to the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in the Plains & Eastern Clean Line docket:



Notice of Appearance





BLOCK_Petition for Delay

And to add a little frosting on the cake:

CEII_Cover & Agreement

Meanwhile, Clean Line is putting its efforts into ASTROTURF!!!  You’d think they’d have a clue how that goes over.

Arkansans for Jobs and Low-Cost Energy

And here’s the Citizens First Congress Champions for Change luncheon, where BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma’s Alison Milsaps spoke to the crowd:

Categories: Citizens

Arkansas natural gas pipeline fails

Sun, 06/07/2015 - 11:44am

A Spectra Energy owned backup line to the Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline ruptured, last Sunday or Monday.  It’s a 24″ pipeline, and 4 million cubic feet of gas leaked out.  That’s a lot of gas, one article says it’s enough for 60+ homes for a year!

What’s  most odd about this is the lackadaisical attitude about reporting this problem, see that last article on the list below.  One article reported:

Arkansas River pipeline blowout occurred Sunday morning, cause still unknown

Then within a couple minutes, the turbulence dissipated and disappeared. Metzler said he drove down to the river that afternoon, but to his puzzlement could find nothing amiss. He and others talked about contacting the Coast Guard, he said, but decided against it because “we didn’t know what to tell them. Something had happened, but nobody knew what.”

Metzler said there was concrete scattered across the deck of the Chris M, skid marks across the boat’s surface,  and handrails and an exhaust stack knocked over. “The concrete still had the form of a pipe,” he said, and parts of it were “covered in soot — I decided this thing must have been on fire.” He is convinced the Texas Eastern exploded. “I believe a big piece of pipe blew out of the river and flew through the air,” he said.

Enlarge The towboat Chris M, owned by Jeffrey Sand Co. in North Little Rock, was damaged Sunday morning when a natural gas pipeline i… (Credit: Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Pipeline in Arkansas River Ruptures, Releases Natural Gas

Natural Gas Released as Pipeline Ruptures in Arkansas River

Arkansas pipeline shut after rupture

63-year-old gas line that blew had a ‘smart pig’ check in ’12

Officials close Arkansas River after natural gas line ruptures

Gas Pipeline Ruptures in Arkansas River

Natural gas line ruptures in river near LR airport

CHECK THIS ONE: News of pipeline rupture called slow
Categories: Citizens

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