Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 13 min 36 sec ago

USFWS Response to FOIA Request

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 8:08am

Recently, I’ve received USFWS responses to our FOIA Requests regarding the Black Oak and Getty wind projects, and there’s a LOT, and I don’t think that it’s made its way into either the Certificate of Need or Siting dockets at the Public Utilities Commission.

To see the PUC Dockets GO HERE TO PUC SEARCH PAGE and then search for dockets 11-471 (CoN), and 10-1240 and 11-831 (siting).

Here’s what we’ve received — it’s not uploading easily, so there’s some duplication and some may not all be included, and I’ll be working on getting this posted today:

Hogeboom_FOIA Cover

5 U.S.C. § 552

43 CFR Part 2 Subpart F (handling conf info)

BlackOakGettyWindDraftAvianReportInitialCommentMemo110902

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Getty_Black Oak Wind Recent

DNR Letter_Maps

DNR-CommentsBlackOakWindFarmDraftSitePermit110422

DNR-CommentsGettyWindDraftSitePermit_DraftABPP-120404

Getty Black Oak Acoustic Report – DNR Comments

Getty Windfarm Early Coordination Response (2)

DNR-CommentsBlackOak-GettyPermitAmendment140929

FWS-2015-00281 C_Overland Partial Release2

Black Oak and Getty Wind Farm Draft ABPP – USFWS Review Comment Letter1

Black Oak ECP General Comments Black Oak Getty Model Information

Black Oak survey points

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Response Letter 3-26-2010 (2)

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Response Letter 3-26-2010

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Review Response Letter (2)

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Review Response Letter

Black Oak Wind Farm Eagle Minutes Black Oak Wind Steinhauer Tails 2009

FA 0145 Black Oak-Getty Agenda 8-30-11 (2)

BOGY_BatStudy_Hamer_12172012

Davis to Jennings Dewild et al Getty Wind 2010 FA 0068

Davis to Smith Geronimo Black Oak 2009 FA 0145

Davis to Steinhauer – Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866

WS-11-831 Davis to Steinhauer MN Commerce Energy Security

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Odell

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak ECP Comments

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty eagle minutes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty shapefiles

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Survey points map

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – Catching Up

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – ECP

USFWS Comments – Black Oak and Getty Wind Draft ABPP

RE_ model question5

RVSmry RE_ model question4

RE_ model question3

RE_ model question2

_ RE_ model question5

_ New modeling data

Rescheduled_ Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects (Aug 31 10_00 AM CDT in _COMM_Conference Room 636)

Re_ model question

Re_ Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866_WS-11-831

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak Eagle Nest

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak Eagle Ne2

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak Eagle Ne

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak and Getty Wind Farm Bald Eagle Discussion

Re_ FW_ Black Oak Wind Farm-Ste

Re_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report1

RE_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report

Re_ Black Oak_Paynesville Follow Up

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Projects – Data and Model Exchange3

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Projects – Data and Model Exchange1

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Projects – Data and Model Exchange

Re_ Black Oak_Getty Eagle use survey protocol

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change3

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change2

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change1

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change

RE_ Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects

RE_ Accepted_ Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects

PUC Docket Number_ IP-6866_WS-11-831 – Getty Wind Project Comments

PREDICTING EAGLE COLLISION FATALITIES

Paynesville Follo

Letter from Rich Davis, USFWS, re Black Oak Wind Farm Site Permit App Review

Getty Eagle use Getty Avian Maps

Geronimo Black Oak Wildlife Discussion1 Geronimo Black Oak Wildlife Discussion

Geronimo Black Oak and Getty Wind Farm Bald Eagle

Fw_ Getty Wind

FW_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report3

FW_ Black Oak Wind Farm-Stearns

FatalFcns

DNR Initial Comments Memo – Black Oak_Getty Wind Draft Avian Report

DistFcns

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Getty Wind

Meeting Summary

CollisionModel

CollisionFatalityModel_RCodeOverview

CMDataTemplate Black Oak_Getty Wind Avian meeting rescheduled

Black Oak_Getty Agenda for 8-30-11 meeting

Black Oak Wind Farm, Stearns County Black Oak and Getty Bat Study

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Review Response Letter3

Black Oak – Getty Wind ABPP USFWS Comments

Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects

USFWS Meeting Agenda

Triggers for AM at Windfarms_June 18_2014 (1)

template for collision risk model_MR_June18

template for collision risk model

Stearns bird list

Fig1_EaglePreConstructionSurvey

Email17_attachment1 EFP_Memo_ABPP_2-27-12

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance – Meeting Agenda

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – quick R question

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Meeting in January 2014 for Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Invitation_ Black Oak chat @ Wed Jul 2, 2014 10am – 11am (margaret_rheude@fws

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Ingrid Schwingler has shared the folder ‘BOGY Information for USFWS’ with you

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Fwd_ Cause of Action FOIA (FWS-2014-01383) – Files Uploaded

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – FW_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Final Black Oak and Getty Wind Meeting Notes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Draft Regional Eagle meeting notes, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – bogy

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Project

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Model Runs from July 2

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Eagle Conservation Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – BOGY ECP

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm data

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm and Getty Wind Project Eagle Monitoring Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – ECP

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – Catching Up

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Survey points map

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty shapefiles

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty eagle minutes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak ECP Comments

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Odell Davis to Steinhauer MN Commerce Energy Securit

Davis to Steinhauer – Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866 WS-11-831

Davis to Smith Geronimo Black Oak 2009 FA 0145

Davis to Jennings Dewild et al Getty Wind 2010 FA 0068

BOGY_BatStudy_Hamer_12172012

Meeting_Agenda_Geronimo_BlackOak_20110111 (2)

GOEA vs BAEA for Stearns Getty Tech Rep Memo

FWSModelCode_v4.1_README (1)

Fig1_EaglePreConstructionSurvey

Email17_attachment1

EFP_Memo_ABPP_2-27-12

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance – Meeting Agenda

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – quick R question

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Meeting in January 2014 for Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Invitation_ Black Oak chat @ Wed Jul 2, 2014 10am – 11am (margaret_rheude@fws

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Ingrid Schwingler has shared the folder ‘BOGY Information for USFWS’ with you

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Fwd_ Cause of Action FOIA (FWS-2014-01383) – Files Uploaded

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – FW_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Final Black Oak and Getty Wind Meeting Notes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Draft Regional Eagle meeting notes, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – bogy

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Project

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Model Runs from July 2

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Eagle Conservation Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – BOGY ECP DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm data

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm and Getty Wind Project Eagle Monitoring Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – ECP

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – Catching Up

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Survey points map

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty shapefiles

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty eagle minutes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak ECP Comments

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Odell Davis to Steinhauer MN Commerce Energy Securit Davis to Steinhauer – Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866 WS-11-831

Davis to Smith Geronimo Black Oak 2009 FA 0145

Davis to Jennings Dewild et al Getty Wind 2010 FA 0068

BOGY_BatStudy_Hamer_12172012       Black Oak-Getty Agenda 8-30-11 (2)

 

 

Categories: Citizens

Sneaking Geronimo Special Legislation through Senate

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 3:44pm

The Senate Energy Omnibus Bill with the offensive special legislation for Geronimo is moving forward with great stealth.  It’s the language that would end the 7 year time limit for wind easement contracts.  That language is hidden in the bill in the words, “Laws 2008, chapter 296, article 1, section 25, as amended.”

How would anyone know what that means?  It’s hidden in the footnote to Minn. Stat. 500.30:

NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 2 by Laws 2008, chapter 296, article 1, section 25, striking the sentence “A wind easement … seven-year period.” is effective June 1, 2017. Laws 2008, chapter 296, article 1, section 25, the effective date, as amended by Laws 2010, chapter 333, article 1, section 33, and Laws 2012, chapter 244, article 1, section 76.

In the Senate, the more specific language is stalled out because the Senate Energy Omnibus bill is stalled out… but in the meantime, HF 843 has passed out of the house and moved over to the Senate and is moving forward there.  The Senate took it in as passed in the House, and it marches onward, now just needing that 3rd reading.

DELETE THIS SECTION OF HF 843!

  • The words to look for in the bill are in the intro:

Laws 2008, chapter 296, article 1, section 25, as amended;

  • And the specific language that needs to be deleted is on p. 147:

DELETE THIS SECTION OF HF 843!

Contact all Senators today and tell them to delete this special legislation for Geronimo.

SENATE CONTACT INFO HERE!

Categories: Citizens

Oh, Baltimore…

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 11:18am

I really don’t know how to deal with our inability, our refusal, to deal with the systemic problems in this country.  In the 50 years that I’ve been aware that there’s no “liberty and justice for all,” not much has changed…

 

Categories: Citizens

Plains & Eastern UnClean Line non-NEPA process begins!

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 10:17am

The long awaited moment has arrived — the substantive review by DOE of the Plains & Eastern UnClean Line is now public.  Remember, there are NO RULES, this is uncharted territory, they’ve not done anything like this before!

There’s a lot of stuff here — this is cut and pasted from the DOE SITE, and downloading will take a while:

Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Line – Part 2 Application

Non-NEPA Review (1222 Review): In addition to conducting a NEPA review of the proposed Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Line project, DOE will also conduct due diligence on non-NEPA factors such as the project’s technical and financial feasibility and whether the project is in the public interest. DOE will conduct a thorough review that includes making all required statutory findings and will consider all criteria listed in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as all factors included in DOE’s 2010 Request for Proposals.

In December 2014, DOE requested additional information from the applicant to supplement and update its original application. The updated Part 2 application and other documentation are now available below for a 45-day public comment period. The public comment period begins on April 28, 2015, the date the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register, and will close on June 12, 2015. DOE is accepting comments on whether the proposed project meets the statutory criteria listed in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as all factors included in DOE’s 2010 Request for Proposals. All comments submitted during either comment period will be considered in the DOE’s ultimate decision as to whether to participate in the proposed project under the Section 1222 Program. Therefore, comments submitted during the NEPA public comment period do not need to be re-submitted during the 1222 public comment period, regardless of the subject discussed in the comments.

Some appendices have been redacted to protect privileged or confidential business information.

Clean Line Part 2 Application Appendix 2-A Mid South and Southeast Wind Power Purchase Agreements Appendix 2-B Letters from Wind Generators Regarding the Need for Additional Transmission Infrastructure Appendix 2-C Letter of Interest from TVA CEO William Johnson Appendix 2-D Memphis Light Gas and Water Resolution Supporting the Project Appendix 2-E Letter of Support from North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays Appendix 2-G Plains and Eastern Clean Line Benefit Analysis Appendix 2-H Letter of Support from National Grid USA President Tom King Appendix 3-A Letter of Support from Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to DOE Appendix 3-B Letter from Lazard Freres Regarding Project Financing Appendix 3-C Precedent Capital Markets Transactions for Transmission Projects Appendix 4-A Proposed Participation Agreement Term Sheet for the Plains and Eastern Clean Line Appendix 6-B Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis Appendix 6-B Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis – Excel Appendix 6-D Breakdown of Total Project Cost Appendix 6-E Financial Statements Appendix 7-A Officer’s Certificate Appendix 7-B Qualifications and Experience of Selected Management Team Members and Employees Appendix 8-A Design Criteria Appendix 8-B Structure Drawings Appendix 8-C Project Overview Map Appendix 9-A Right-of-Way Acquisition Plan under the Uniform Act Appendix 9-B December 15 2014 Letter to Landowners Appendix 9-C Press Release Regarding Draft EIS Release Appendix 9-D Stakeholder Email Regarding Draft EIS Release Appendix 10-A Xcel Facility Study Report Appendix 10-B MISO Feasibility Study Report Appendix 10-C TVA Shelby Interconnection System Impact Study Report (Redacted) Appendix 10-D MLGW Affected System Impact Study Report Appendix 10-E HVDC Scheme Diagram Appendix 10-F Shelby Substation and Optima Substation One-Line Drawings Appendix 10-J HVDC Specification Development Report Appendix 10-K Plains and Eastern Proposed Construction Schedule Appendix 10-L Potential Federal and State Permits and Consultation Required for the Project Appendix 11-A FERC Amended Negotiated Rate Authority Order
Categories: Citizens

Bill Howley, “The Power Line” blogger, has died

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 12:23pm

Bill Howley died yesterday.

Bill Howley is known by anyone working in opposition to transmission projects.  Due to a transmission line proposed in his community, he learned pretty much everything there is to know about transmission, wrote about it faithfully and fearlessly for years, and became an expert on advocacy, economics and technology of all things electrical.  He’s one of the first resources people would turn to when they first learned of transmission projects.  Recently, he’d taken the position of Program Director for WV SUN.

Bill Howley’s blog, since 2008 — take a few minutes to get an idea of the depth of his work.  Here’s hoping that his family will keep this blog going in perpetuity, a memorial to his work and as a guiding light for all those who are dealing with transmission projects:

The Power Line The View from Calhoun County

From the Hur Herald from Sunny Cal:

People’s Advocate Bill Howley of Calhoun County has died.

His life’s work was based on his favorite quote by Ghandi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

He was a well-known researcher, consultant, consumer advocate, activist, writer, and paralegal.

Howley, 62, of Red Bud Lane, Chloe, died in a vehicle accident on I-79 in Braxton County Thursday evening.

A graduate of Yale University, he and and his wife Loren Howley, Grantsville attorney, moved to Calhoun County years ago to live their lives in the country.

For several years he was a public advocate for consumer rights related to electric company abuse of consumers and published The Power Line, an on-line media outlet.

He was a leader defeating the goliath PATH electric transmission project promoted by WV’s coal fired power plants, that power would have exported to northeast urban areas, with a part of those costs being absorbed by consumers and taxpayers in West Virginia.

Howley protested the state’s taxing of deep coal that cannot be mined under 1,000 parcels of Washington District land, the Calhoun Commission taking action against the proposal, which was dropped.

He recently assumed a position as Program Director for West Virginia Sun, an organization that is helping West Virginia communities create affordable renewable power.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Categories: Citizens

Rep. Garofalo — working against landowner interests

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:32am

The price of Garofalo is too cheap — toadying to the corporate masters.

Rep. Garofalo claimed it is not the legislature’s role to interfere in private contracts.  But in taking out the language specific to Black Oak/Getty wind, he adds this tidbit, it supposedly was added in committee “during markup” — did anyone on the committee understand? Did anyone look at this footnote to Minn. Stat. 500.30?  It’s in the 2nd Engrossment, then 3rd, and 4th which was passed yesterday with some amendments:

This is language that modifies a footnote to Minn. Stat. 500.30.  It pushes up the sunset of the 7 year limit for wind easement contracts.  And there’s nothing in here that says that it does not apply to current contracts.  Geronimo wants it because it WOULD apply, at least they’d try to make that happen!

Nope, this is not OK at all.  That’s just doing the corporation’s bidding in another way.  Thanks, thanks a lot.  If you want to keep this language in, it needs to expressly state that it has no application to existing contracts.

I wonder — did Sempra know they were jumping into this morass when they bought the project?

Now it’s time to keep on Senate to remove it, and be alert for the Conference Committee.

Here’s the contact info for all Senators, it will hit the floor sometime, either in SF 1431 or maybe even SF 2101:

SENATORS’ CONTACT INFO HERE

Why?

1) We need to make sure that the Senate, THE WHOLE SENATE, knows that the special legislation for Geronimo in S.F. 1431, p. 34, lines 8-16, must be deleted when this comes to the floor in the Senate, if not before.  Check that bill carefully.

2) Also don’t try to sneak it in like they did in the House:

3) They also need to know that this special legislation for Geronimo must not appear in any other bill — don’t try to sneak it in somewhere else, and don’t forget to take it out, don’t try to drop it in during Conference Committee!  NO!  NO!  NO!

Contact each and every Senator and let them know “No special legislation for Geronimo” and that under Minn. Stat. 500.30, wind easement contracts now terminate after 7 years — do not attempt to change this 7 year limit for existing contracts between landowners and the wind developer/owner.  This change would be for the benefit of the Black Oak/Getty wind project(s) and to the detriment of the landowners.

 

 

Categories: Citizens

Energy Omnibus Bills this session?

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:17pm

What’s going on with these Energy Omnibus Bills?  It’s bad enough that they do it in this “Omnibus” form, instead it’s OMINOUS, because they toss such a mash of incongruous things together, a little for everyone so they have a “deal, a package deal, and it’s a good deal” when it’s really just a mess that adds up to bad policy.

Senate Energy Omnibus bill is SF 1431:

SF 1431 – 1st Engrossment

The Companion HF 1678 Textisn’t going anywhere…

House Employment and Economic Development Bill is filled with energy related backpedaling and is even more OMINOUS:

HF 0843 – 3rd Engrossment

The “Senate Companion” to HF 843 does not really exist, but the stated companion, SF 804 was added to S.F. 2101, the Omnibus agriculture, environment, natural resources, jobs, and economic development appropriations:

SF 2101 – 1st Engrossment

With the different bills, it gets difficult when considering the special legislation for Black Oak/Getty that Geronimo added to the Senate bill (SF 1431).  That language remains in SF 1431.  Now it’s BACK in HF 843 — as of tonight. 

Initially, it was added to the House bill (HF843) without any committee discussion, but was then removed (YES!) after loud objections.

Better yet, the new owner of the project, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, wants nothing to do with Geronimo’s legislative “fix.”  From “Signed, sealed and sold: Controversial legislative fix gone with the wind” Watchdog.org Minnesota Bureau, by , Sempra confirms that important distinction between itself and the former owner, Geronimo (also linked below):

Sempra U.S. Gas and Power assumed ownership of the up to 41-turbine wind farm March 25, according to the letter.  But the California company distanced itself from any statehouse deal that infringes on landowner agreements.

“From our understanding the Omnibus energy bill is no longer in consideration and will not move forward as legislation. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is not in favor of any legislation that would change the terms of the leases agreed to by the Black Oak Getty landowners,” Steve Schooff, Sempra U.S. Gas and Power communications director, said in an email.

Good!  Sempra, thank you for taking a step back!  That they’re distancing from legislative action on private contracts is a sign that they have a sense of ethics and won’t try to steamroll this project through.  They deserve a hearty “Here! Here!”  Will Sempra give a listen to landowners?  We shall see!

But then tonight, I heard that Rep. Garofalo put it back in. Specific wording remains to be seen, let’s have a look at the 4th Engrossment, which should be out soon.  But noooo, this sly change was added a while ago:

Rep. Garofalo, you’d said on the record that it wasn’t the legislature’s business to interfere in private contracts.  Now it’s suddenly OK.  So which is it?  Now you think it’s OK to jump to your corporate masters and put that language in, to the detriment of the residents of Raymond and Getty Township who have contracts, contracts with specific stated termination dates?  Shame… what changed?

And Sempra supposedly isn’t the only one to publicly back off — two sources in the Senate have said, IN WRITING, that Geronimo has said it wants that language deleted from the Senate version.  SO LET’S DO IT!

In the meantime, though, despite those assurances, we need to keep at it.  We need to continue to let the Senate know to remove Section 40 of S.F. 1431, which is lines 34.8 – 34.16 on p. 3,4 to eliminate that special legislation for Geronimo:

It’s supposed to happen when it hits the floor for a vote, and right now, “negotiations” seem to be stalled out, everything is behind closed door, and we have no way of knowing what’s really going on.

So what to do?

1) We need to thank everyone for removing the offensive special legislation from HF 843.   We need to make sure they know that the special legislation language must not appear in any House version.  And don’t even think of putting this special legislation interfering with private contracts into any bill in Conference Committee.

Contact each and every House member and let them know “No special legislation for Geronimo” and that under Minn. Stat. 500.30, wind easement contracts now terminate after 7 years — do not attempt to change this for existing contracts between landowners and the wind developer/owner of the Black Oak/Getty wind project(s).  Stand up for the people of Raymond and Getty Townships and remove this language.  Say NO to your corporate masters!

HOUSE MEMBERS’ CONTACT INFO HERE

2) We need to make sure that the Senate, THE WHOLE SENATE, knows that the special legislation for Geronimo in S.F. 1431, p. 34, lines 8-16, must be deleted when this comes to the floor in the Senate.  They also need to know that this special legislation for Geronimo must not appear in any other bill — don’t try to sneak it in somewhere else, and don’t forget to take it out, don’t try to drop it in during Conference Committee!  NO!  NO!  NO!

Contact each and every Senator and let them know “No special legislation for Geronimo” and that under Minn. Stat. 500.30, wind easement contracts now terminate after 7 years — do not attempt to change this for existing contracts between landowners and the wind developer/owner of the Black Oak/Getty wind project(s).

SENATORS’ CONTACT INFO HERE

Categories: Citizens

Now what’s Micheletti up to?

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:09am

Doesn’t this guy ever quit?  New legislation with new option, wanting to change the law to allow a “biomass” plant on the Mesaba Project site.  WHAT?  Aren’t they paying attention to the Laurentian Energy Authority’s unworkable “biomass” projects in Hibbing and Virginia, the “biomass” plants that don’t have enough feedstock and so are burning coal?  Did they forget that the MPCA has only issued one woody biomass permit, for Laurentian (Hibbing and Virginia) and that that permit was violated, so extremely that the MPCA issued fines and reworked the permit?

LEGALECTRIC POST: Laurentian “biomass” Air Permit Draft (second time around)

LEGALECTRIC POST: “Biomass” violates air permit – fines likely

DOH!

Thanks to a little birdie for the heads up on this.

Here’s the change, hidden in Senate File 2101:

Today, say NO to lines 191.4 – 191.19 of Senate File 2101.

Categories: Citizens

GARBAGE made for a busy day!!!

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:08am

There’s the Garbage Queen Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Commissioner, promoting the Joint Powers of Ramsey and Washington County’s dream of buying a RDF processing facility in Newport, one that’s now a private entity that they’re contracted with to handle their garbage!  Why buy it?  Why lock the counties into decades of grinding up garbage?  They couldn’t answer that.

And it’s a bit of a conflict, as after they grind it up and turn garbage into RDF, they send it down here to burn it.  Thanks Ramsey & Washington Counties.  Let’s be clear here — you need to deal with YOUR garbage problem, and not send it to us, and not put it in our lungs.

They talked some about “what ifs,” like dreams/nightmares of anaerobic digestion and garbage gasification, but that is not dealing with their problem.  It’s an issue of REDUCTION, REUSE, RECYCLING.  How difficult is that?

More Value Less Trash_Open Houses Powerpoint

Here’s their site and read between the lines for the plan:

More Value Less Trash

Last night’s meeting was at Century College, which was 916 Area Vo-Tech when I went there and emerged in 1983 with a Truck Driver Certificate and the first of a few jobs of over the road driving that got me through a BA at Metro State!  It’s changed a lot, big expansion, and the trucks are no longer there, but offsite.

The next “Talkin’ Trash” garbage open houses will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.:

• Tuesday, April 21, in the Marsden Room of the Ramsey County Department of Public Works building, 1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive in Arden Hills.
• Thursday, April 23, in lower level conference room 14 at the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St.t N., Stillwater.
• Monday, April 27, in at the Newport City Hall, 596 Seventh Ave., Newport.
• Tuesday, April 28, in Auditorium A of the Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway N. in St. Paul.

Here are the latest reports that they’ve generated…  they lose it by only looking at burning or landfilling — there’s a much wider range of options.  And the Foth Report (first up) should make you froth:

Foth Analysis of Mixed Waste Processing
This study examines the potential of adding Mixed Waste Processing Technology at Newport and the costs associated with adding the technology.
Report

Ownership Analysis
This analysis includes looking at the current Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) processing facility and also looking at other technologies that may be used to process MSW.
Analysis

Governance Report
This policy study investigates the governance options available to the counties, describes the process to implement and consequences associated with each.
Report

Waste Delivery Assurance Analysis and Options
This document provides an overview of options for assuring delivery of mixed municipal solid waste, and potentially other solid wastes, to the Newport Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Facility or another resource recovery facility involving Ramsey and Washington Counties.
Report

Technology Comparative Analysis
This report compares the three options analyzed in the Preliminary Resource Recovery Feasibility Report to the current RDF System and to landfilling.
Report

Preliminary Resource Recovery Feasibility Report
This report addresses the technologies selected for continued evaluation by the Ramsey/Washington Counties Resource Recovery Project as part of the future of waste processing decision process.
Report

Categories: Citizens

Overland’s Plains & Eastern DEIS Comments

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:53pm

Quick comments — this project is bizarre, a private project proposed on request of DOE (with applicant ringleader a former DOE employee) that has no demonstrable need.  ???

Overland Comment 4-20-2015

Here’s the link for the DEIS, from their site:

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project (DOE/EIS–0486; Draft EIS) is now available

I do hope the DOE will explain how they intend to review this under Section 1222… it’s all too bizarre for words!

Categories: Citizens

Again! Legislative Auditor on IRRRB!

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 3:00pm

Big thanks to Citizens Against the Mesaba Project for the heads up!

Minnesota’s legislative auditor will investigate IRRRB _ Duluth News Tribune

This specifically includes the $9.5 to Excelsior Energy and its Mesaba Project:

$9.5 was loaned, but as of 2008, with interest, that number was up to over $14 million, per the Legislative Audit report of 2008 (full report below):

Here’s an overview from CAMP:

CAMP UPDATE _ Mesaba Energy Project _ Excelsior Energy

Here’s the 2008 Legislative Auditor Report_IRR Loans to Excelsior Energy

And on this site, also posted in 2008:

Excelsior Energy under the auditor’s microscope

Here are some of the pertinent documents from that round — Read it and see for yourself. Anyway, mncoalgasplant.com wanted to dig around in the IRR’s records, so we started in filing this and that…

Subpoena Request IRR September 7, 2006

Or was it a Data Practices Act request?

IRRB Data Practices Act Request

Letter to IRRRB June 19, 2006

Letter to IRRRB July 26, 2006

All of the above!

We got quite a bit of information, and here’s Ron Gustafson’s spreadsheet, it may not be all inclusive, but some choice tidbits are there:

IRR Receipts – Final Review

The IRRRB’s handling of money, particularly handing it over to Excelsior Energy a/k/a Tom Micheletti and Julie Jorgensen, was appalling, and it’s about time this got another review.  The Mesaba Project was one of the most obvious and disturbing examples of special legislation ever, from the legislatively granted perks like a mandate of Power Purchase Agreement, to eminent domain for a private company, to the Renewable Development Funds to the IRRRB money, pouring money down the rathole.

What were theys thinking?  And what was the pay-off?  The pay-off to Xcel Energy was that they got to keep their Prairie Island nuclear plant going.  What was the pay-off to legislators who agreed to this?  What was the pay-off to the “environmental” groups, particularly Bill Grant, then Izaak Walton League, who Tom Micheletti furiously accosted after the deal was temporarily stopped, yelling, “WE HAD A DEAL!!!  BUT WE HAD A DEAL!!!”  What did Bill Grant’s organization and its supporters get?

Categories: Citizens

YES! House deletes Black Oak/Getty language!

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 7:52am

YEAAAA!  Progress!  The House has indeed deleted the Black Oak/Getty language in the 1st Engrossment of HF 843.

1st Engrossment of HF 843

It’s not over yet — there’s still the Senate.  Keep up the pressure on them to remove it when it hits the floor:

John Marty (66, DFL) Energy Committee Chair
651-296-5645
E-mail: UseMail Form

John A. Hoffman (36, DFL) Energy Committee Vice Chair
651-296-4154
E-mail:
sen.john.hoffman@senate.mn

David J. Osmek (33, R) Energy Committee Ranking Minority Member
651-296-1282
E-mail: sen.david.osmek@senate.mn

Torrey N. Westrom (12, R) Senator for Black Oak/Getty area
651-296-3826
E-mail: sen.torrey.westrom@senate.mn

Matt Schmit (21, DFL)  “My” Senator in Red Wing
651-296-4264
E-mail:  sen.matt.schmit@senate.mn

Other Senators’ contact information!

 

Categories: Citizens

“Your advocacy has been effective…”

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 6:39am

So I heard last Friday at the House Jobs and Energy Committee… that’s something new, to hear that so directly and publicly.  We’d put a serious effort into deleting the offensive “special legislation” for Geronimo about the Black Oak and Getty wind projects that would unilaterally extend the term of the wind lease contracts from seven to eight years:

That was Friday, but checking the status, the 1st engrossment isn’t out yet, so who knows…

And on top of that, “upon information and belief,” or “a little birdie told me” basis, it’s possible that both the House and Senate version of this will be withdrawn.  I’ve since received confirmation from two sources that yes, that is Geronimo’s request, but that it probably won’t happen until it hits the floor of the Senate. That would be good, but it’s not over yet… and this sure shouldn’t go forward and get to Conference Committee where anything can and does often happen.

SO, on that note, it’s time for phone calls and emails again!

For the Senate, contact Senator John Marty, the Senate Energy Chair, and the local Senator, Tory Westrom, and your own Senator if different.  Let them know that Section 40 of the Energy Omnibus Bill, page 34, lines 34.8 – 17, should be deleted… the special legislation extending wind contracts for Black Oak and Getty wind (or any others!) must be deleted from the Senate Energy bill.

John Marty (66, DFL) Energy Committee Chair
651-296-5645
E-mail: UseMail Form

John A. Hoffman (36, DFL) Energy Committee Vice Chair
651-296-4154
E-mail:
sen.john.hoffman@senate.mn

David J. Osmek (33, R) Energy Committee Ranking Minority Member
651-296-1282
E-mail:
sen.david.osmek@senate.mn

Torrey N. Westrom (12, R)
651-296-3826
sen.torrey.westrom@senate.mn

Other Senators’ contact information!

Also contact House Committee members with a THANK YOU and a gentle reminder to make sure it’s removed from the House version:

rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn, rep.dave.baker@house.mn, rep.karen.clark@house.mn, rep.dan.fabian@house.mn, rep.bob.gunther@house.mn, rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn, rep.jason.isaacson@house.mn, rep.sheldon.johnson@house.mn, rep.bob.loonan@house.mn, rep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.jim.newberger@house.mn, rep.marion.oneill@house.mn, rep.peggy.scott@house.mn, rep.erik.simonson@house.mn, rep.dennis.smith@house.mn, rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mn, rep.bob.vogel@house.mn, rep.jean.wagenius@house.mn, rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn, rep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.dave.baker@house.mn, rep.marion.oneill@house.mn

By the way, after the House Energy Omnibus hearing on Friday, I learned Rep. Garofalo’s price:

$1.49!  OK…

Categories: Citizens

Delete lines 134.1-134.11 of House Energy Omnibus Bill!

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 8:13pm

WHAT?!?  What is Pat Garofalo up to?  Just look what’s appeared in the House Energy Omnibus Bill:

How did that happen?

So not only did Sen. Weber add it to the Senate Energy Omnibus Bill, but now it’s mysteriously appeared in the House Omnibus Bill.  Who “authored” this?  Well, we know it’s Geronimo, but what Rep. put their name on it?  Who is responsible?

Here’s what Sen. Weber said when he introduced the A-12 amendment to the bill in the Senate:

I have the A-12 Amendment, members…[staff passing out Amendment]… Previous legislation has required that there be a seven year limit as far as the leasing of wind rights, and this was of course to protect property owners from signing up for wind rights by someone who was just speculating and who may not have those wind rights ever available for a project.  There is a project up in Senator Westrom’s district, it is the former Black Oak Getty Wind Farm Project that has now been taken over by Geronimo.  And the project is in its early stages of construction, however it will not be completed by the time that the seven year period expires.  The purpose of this amendment is thereby to extend that seven year period to, by one year, to an eight year period.  It is very specific, the amendment is very specific as to the description of the project, and it is this project.  Farmers Union has been contacted, who pushed for the original seven year limit, and they are certainly OK with this, and I believe that parties have been in contact with Sen. Marty as it relates to it.  And if there are any questions as it relates to the project, Ms. Engelking is still available to address those.

Can you believe it?  It’s not even Sen. Weber’s district, and he introduced this without checking with Sen. Westrom?  EH?  Check it out on the Senate video of that meeting, Weber introduces it at about 3:29:09.  WATCH IT HERE!

Tomorrow is the House Energy Committee meeting and the Energy Omnibus Bill is on the agenda, starting at high noon, and 2p is the deadline for amendments, and Xcel’s Rick Evans has promised he’s got a thing or two up his sleeve, apparently confirming that Xcel is running the Committee.

Now is the time to let the Committee know what you think about legislative interference with the wind easement contracts between Geronimo and landowners in the Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects, BEFORE THE COMMITTEE MEETS.

  • Delete lines 134.1 – 134.11 of HF 843 — the House Energy Omnibus Bill.
  • Don’t put Geronimo’s corporate interests above those Black Oak and Getty Wind Project landowners who have contracts.
  • Wind contract language says it is a seven (7) year contract, not 8!
  • This is special legislation, legislation for Geronimo that is favoring a particular, specific, corporate interest — that’s prohibited by Minnesota law.
  • This legislation is against the interests of the landowners who signed the original contracts, for a project which has not been built, and contracts which are due to expire soon.
  • Legislature should not interfere and try to change a contract between Geronimo and landowners.  If Geronimo wants something different, they can negotiate in good faith with the landowners.
  • Landowners affected by this legislation were NOT notified before this bill’s introduction.
  • Geronimo might say that this legislation won’t affect the landowners, but if it doesn’t have an impact, why are they pushing for this legislation for this specific project?

Here’s the list for emails to delete lines 134.1 to 134.11 of the House Energy Omnibus Bill, let them know in technicolor what you think:

rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn, rep.dave.baker@house.mn, rep.karen.clark@house.mn, rep.dan.fabian@house.mn, rep.bob.gunther@house.mn, rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn, rep.jason.isaacson@house.mn, rep.sheldon.johnson@house.mn, rep.bob.loonan@house.mn, rep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.jim.newberger@house.mn, rep.marion.oneill@house.mn, rep.peggy.scott@house.mn, rep.erik.simonson@house.mn, rep.dennis.smith@house.mn, rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mn, rep.bob.vogel@house.mn, rep.jean.wagenius@house.mn, rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn, rep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.dave.baker@house.mn, rep.marion.oneill@house.mn

Thanks for weighing in, and tune in to the Committee tomorrow.

 

 

Categories: Citizens

What’s going on with the MISO market today?

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 2:38pm

You can watch it HERE — the MISO LMP Coutour Map live!  Earlier today the whole thing was yellow and orange, yet PJM’s LMP Contour Map was still blue as it usually is… that DC xmsn-related outage was barely a blip!

Categories: Citizens

Special legislation for Black Oak Getty Wind

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 10:40am

More on the special legislation for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects!

Remember that hard-to-believe Senate Energy Committee meeting a couple weeks ago?

Bill to extend Getty/Black Oak wind contracts?

It’s an amendment to the Senate Ominous Energy bill to extend the term of wind rights contracts.  What they’ve decided can’t be done in the contracts (DOH — is there a reason they’re having trouble?), they’ve decided to do unilaterally, legislatively, in special legislation incorporated into the Senate Energy Ominous Bill, S.F. 1431 (1st Engrossment):

Here’s the audio of the Committee meeting:

   (04:31:52) Part 2

It’s been getting some attention, and not the kind of attention they want… GOOD!

Contract extension could leave landowners flapping in the breeze

And, oh, there she goes again:

“This is a really poor way to do policy,” said Carol Overland, an attorney who has represented residents opposed to Black Oak. “… It’s crafted in such a way that they don’t name it. Therefore, they would say it’s not special legislation. But it is designed only for this project.”

I just happened to be at that hearing, objecting to the e21 Initiative language in S.F. 1735 which was to have been incorporated into the Energy Ominous Bill… and heard this and other amendments that were shocking!  Had I not been there, who would have noticed this special legislation?  Thing is, “special legislation” happens in Minnesota all the time, particularly on energy issues, just look at all the utility personal property tax exemptions, and at all the bills framed around Xcel Energy, f/k/a Northern States Power.  Special legislation shouldn’t be happening, but nobody seems to care.  They pretend that because it isn’t named in the bill, it’s not “special legislation.”  We know better.  And Sen. Weber, in introducing this A-12 amendment for Black Oak Getty Wind, specifically said that it was for the “Black Oak Getty Wind Project” which is what got my attention.  And the article quotes some of what he said (why not the part using the words “Black Oak Getty Wind Project”).

“The project is in its early stages of construction. However, it will not be completed by the time the seven-year period expires,” Weber said in the hearing. “The purpose of this amendment is to thereby extend that seven-year period by one year to an eight-year period. The amendment is very specific as to the description of the project and it is this project.”

Yes, this is special legislation, and it’s not OK.

Categories: Citizens

Rep. Osienski, Sen. McBride step up on Bakken BOOM! trains

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 8:32am

From Green Delaware, there’s action in Delaware in support of U.S. Senate Bill 859, the Rail Safety Act of 2015, urging something similar in the House:

 

Flames erupt from the scene of a crude-oil train derailment Feb. 16 near Timmins, in Ontario, Canada. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)   Text of S.859 Crude-by-Rail Safety Act of 2015 Rep. Ed Osienski and Sen. Dave McBride developed a letter to Rep. John Carney asking the US Congress to take meaningful action on oil (“bomb”) trains.  This letter was signed by 30 Delaware state senators and representatives.

Here’s the letter.

Since the reopening of the Delaware City Refinery, engineered by Gov. Black Jack Markell behind the backs of the people of Delaware, Delaware has become a leading destination for “bomb trains.”  Oil comes into Delaware by train not only for refining in Delaware but for transshipment to other refineries along the Delaware River.  This mocks the Delaware Coastal Zone Act’s prohibition of “new bulk transfer facilities.”  Did Black Jack know that very dangerous bomb trains were part of the deal?  We don’t know, but it seems unlikely he would have cared one way or the other.  Delaware is also one of a few states that has shamed itself by refusing to release information on the routes and frequency of the bomb trains.

See this previous post: Bakken BOOM! Rail Safety Bill

Action: Check the letter to see if YOUR Senator and Representative have signed on.  If not, ASK THEM TO.  Contact information from the League of Women Voters is here.

And thank Rep. Osienski and Sen. McBride.

Categories: Citizens

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