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Carol Overland - Legalectric
Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago
One small step… and a giant leap! A transmission easement settled, and at more than twice the original offer. Yeah, we can live with that.
The troubling thing is that the appraisal didn’t really make sense, and they way they came to the appraisal amount didn’t add up. But despite that, the bottom line was good, so we’re not going to quibble.
Onward, heading up north for transmission hearings for the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line.
The wall is UP. The street is paved, and the sidewalks were finished today! Like WOW! Next week they fill in the boulevards, and do something with that hill behind the retaining wall. Almost… almost…
And the good news is that now we’ve got drainage that won’t turn the sidewalks into a skating rink, and the pole for the Little Free Library and light is now installed!
And so says the STrib:
Time to hit the road and jump on the LRT!
Stephanie Henricksen has been a friend, activist, cohort, and client on so many land use issues for so long now, and though I’d seen her “Farm Art” show that she put together with many other farm and agriculture focused artists, I’d not seen a room full of her work… until today. And apparently is was a side of her that many in Northfield did not know existed! So good to fill them in. It was the last day of her “Retrospective” at the Northfield Arts Guild. That’s Stephanie in her “winter” hat discussing her work:
One day we were in my office talking about the Target development just south of Northfield, and, well, it was a spirited discussion, and I leaned back snorting and CRACK! My chair broke, I went flying over backwards, hootin’ and hollerin’ all the way to the floor. A few days later she comes in with a drawing of it, which I have to this day. I also have an evocative photo of Stephanie, taken by David, on my wall, of her sitting with three of her many ducks who were assassinated in a drive by shooting just after she’d published an editorial about a local land use project — a price of her advocacy. She’s had other incidents, including a sow’s teats skinned off and left in her mailbox, a rib cage stuck on her fence post, during her work on feedlot regulation. She’s well known for her activism, but unfortunately, not so much for her art.
Oh, and did you know she’s an alto sax player too?
And some others from the exhibition:
This is her mother out in the yard:
This was one of my favorites — a squirrel ring toss!!!
This one was to be a “Madonna and Child” which she said just wasn’t working until she put her dog in:
And here she is again, Stephanie Henricksen and friends:
And from my personal collection from a much appreciated thank you note she’d sent in the heat of a tough struggle, after we’d made some progress on a land use issue. I think we’d gotten a permit stalled out in Rice County with a petition to the EQB for environmental review:
If you have anything at all in the way of material possessions, odds are that it was brought to you by a trucker, or the pieces you made it with were brought to you by a trucker. If you eat, unless you grew it on your own, odds are it was brought to you by a trucker.
There’s always been a truck driver shortage, despite yahoos like Rick Brandt at W&S (that’s Wicked & Sadistic) saying, “The driver is the most easily replaceable part of a truck.” Now, it’s worse. The Hours of Service rules are tighter — you read these and let me know if you can comply! Plus trucks are computerized, meaning logs are on the computer, if the truck is rolling down the road, the computer says you’re driving and you can only do so much of that in a day. Insurance companies are probably more strict about who companies can hire, what kind of driving record means rejection. And as always, it means being away from home so long that home becomes your truck.
In today’s STrib:
On the flip side, pay is more than twice what it was as Reagan deregulated trucking in 1983. And trucks are nothing like the cabovers with arm strong steering and hockey puck suspension of that era — nowadays, everyone’s got a hood and a rumpus room, usually a fridge, and of course the aforementioned computer which isn’t exactly programmed for fun or enlightenment, just work. Fuel mileage has also changed, where 7 mpg is now not that unusual, and you won’t see the black clouds of eye-stinging emissions, what with low sulphur fuel and “Diesel Emissions Fuel” to further limit sulphur output. Loads are better, with shipper load, and mostly receiver unload and when they want it broken down, lumper fees are paid without a hassle.
Still, “easy” as it is, it makes for a long week…
Lots of interesting filings last week — in this case, the Public Utilities Commission has deemed the Aurora Solar application complete and has referred it to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a “summary” proceeding, but more specific and detailed than that:
Short version: And they’ve not appointed a Task Force, although there is an opening if people interested in one want to request it. See p. 4 of the order above. Now how will this be affected by Xcel Energy’s filing looking for essentially reconsideration of their resource plans and acquisitions:
Here’s the Application:
The files with the maps are TOO LARGE to post, so here are links, I’ve got them in two pdfs, but there there are many broken down. Just go to the docket via PUC SEARCH DOCKET LINK, and then search for 14-515 (“14″ is the year, “515″ is the docket).
There was interest and concern here in Goodhue County originally when it was proposed for an industrial park that was developed, with infrastructure in, but not yet constructed with buildings. Zumbrota didn’t think that was the best use for that area, and I’d agree. It’s now been sited in a corn field to the north of the northwest quadrant of the Hwy. 52 and Hwy. 60 interchange. Much better!
It apparently used to be a gravel pit:
I’ve been saying this for so many years, that electric demand is down, down, down, and instead, Xcel Energy (and all the others) have been saying it’s going UP, UP, UP (even though Mikey Bull said years ago that they wouldn’t need power for a while), and they’re applying for and getting Certificates of Need for all these permits for utility infrastructure that are obviously designed to market and sell the surplus, and the Public Utilities pretends to be oblivious (I say “pretends” because I cannot believe they’re that unaware and uninformed.).
This is a must read:
Here’s the short version from Xcel:
2024 is expected to be about what it was back in 2007, the industry peak year. DOH! But note this — there’s a “small capacity surplus in 2016.” DOH!
And given the surplus which we’ve known has been present and looming larger, that’s why they then ask for withdrawal of the Certificate of Need for the Prairie Island uprate because it isn’t needed (and really, that was just what, 80 MW or so? Or 80 MW x 2 reactors, 160 MW?). If they don’t need that small uprate, why on earth would they need so much more?
But what do I know…
Hollydale Transmission Line was clearly not needed, and they withdrew that application…
CapX 2020 transmission was based on a 2.49% annual increase in demand, and for Hampton-La Crosse in part supposedly based on Rochester and La Crosse demand numbers, yeah right, we know better, but that was their party line. Again, DOH, it didn’t add up to needing a big honkin’ 345 kV transmission line stretching from the coal plants in the Dakotas to Madison and further east, but who cares, let’s just build it…
ITC MN/IA 345 kV line — the state said the 161 kV should be sufficient to address transmission deficiencies in the area, but noooooo, DOH, that wouldn’t address the “need” for bulk power transfer (the real desire for the line).
Here’s a bigger picture of the bottom line (I’m accepting this as a more accurate depiction, not necessarily the TRUTH, but close enough for electricity), keeping in mind that these are PROJECTIONS, and that they’re adding a “Coincident Peak adjustment” which should be included in the “peak” calculations):
Notice the only slight reduction in coal capacity, just 19 MW, nuclear stays the same, a 320 MW decrease in gas, a 128 MW reduction in Wind, Hydro, Biomass, which I hope includes garbage burners and the Benson turkey shit plant , slight increase in solar of 18 MW, and Load Management also a slight increase of only 80 MW. This is Xcel Energy with its business as usual plan, which has to go. We can do it different, and now is the time.
Will someone explain why we paid so much to uprate Monticello, and paid to rebuild Sherco 3?
From the archives:500+ give LS Power a piece of their mind
October 20th, 20092012 NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment
May 7th, 2013PJM Demand is DOWN!
November 15th, 2012Transmission? It’s NOT needed!!!
October 18th, 2012Xcel shelves projects, admitting demand is down
December 3rd, 2011
It’s final… that is, the FINAL meeting notice was just issued, one more go round on these draft rules for Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and Power Plant Siting Act (siting and routing of utility infrastructure) (Minn. R. Ch. 7850).
We’ve been at this for about a year and a half, maybe more, and to some extent we’re going round and round and round.
Here are the September 2014 drafts, hot off the press:
Send your comments, meaning SPECIFIC comments, not “THIS SUCKS” but comments on the order of “because of _______, proposed language for 7950.xxxx should be amended to say_______.” It’s a bit of work, but it’s important, for instance, the Advisory Task Force parts are important because we were just before the PUC on this last week, trying to reinforce that Task Force’s are necessary, despite Commerce efforts to eliminate and/or neuter them. That despite ALJ orders otherwise, the Final EIS should be in the record BEFORE the Public Hearings and Evidentiary Hearings (just lost a Motion to require this last month).
How can you comment? The best way is to fire off an email to the Commission’s staff person leading this group:
If you’re up to it, sign up on the PUC’s eDockets, and file your Comment in Docket 12-1246. If you’d like your comment filed there, and can’t figure it out, please send it to me and I’ll file it for you. It’s important that these comments be made in a way that the Commission will SEE, in a way that they cannot ignore, when this comes up before them.