Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

Why all the fuss about Cecil?

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 7:02pm

Photo by Brent Stapelkamp

Yes, this whole Cecil thing does bother me.  I’ve seen a lot of criticism of people posting about Cecil when there are so many other awful things going on in the world these days.  But it’s not binary. And it’s not about “hunting,” because dragging an elephant as bait to lure a protected animal out of its sanctuary, wounding it with a bow and arrow and not tracking it immediately and not ending its suffering until 40 hours later, that is not hunting. And there’s also an interest curve, things pop and wane.  

I’ve had some time now to consider what shows up in my computer… Of those of us who are commenting on Cecil, we can be concerned about many issues at once, we MUST be concerned about many issues at once.  Most of the people I’ve seen posting about Cecil are activist sorts, people also standing up for equal rights, those who worked for gay marriage, an end to police shootings and abuse, prosecution of bank fraud and rabid capitalism, sex trafficking, homelessness, essentially, demonstrating that we need to pay attention to all these issues for anything to change.  We can and will be concerned about many, many things.  Cecil will be high on the “interest curve” for a while and then we’ll be following the Ray Tensing trail, and then there’s the four Clean Line transmission proposals trying to steamroll their way through state and federal scrutiny. On the other hand, those who are not commenting about Cecil are the same ones not standing up about all things political, ethical, and illegal. I’m noticing the silence. Will watch this over time and see if this hypothesis holds!

The Science of why you are so upset about Cecil the Lion

Bottom line:

Small writes that “most humans are… not just ignorant of but indifferent to almost all of the species on the planet.” In fact, people are “biophobic” meaning they are “slightly to extremely negative towards the majority of species they encounter.”

My issue here is that this is such a blatant case of narcissism on parade, a demonstration of white male privilege in the extreme:

This guy is a privileged white male dentist who pays out more money than most of us make in a year to go around the world and kill beautiful rare animals and bring pieces of them home and display on his walls.   Oh, and he wants to convince us that he’s Putin II.  Oh, please…  urp… Well, then again, considering what we know of Putin, perhaps there are similarities.

N-A-R-C-I-S-S-I-S-M

As a part of his sentence, I’d like to see it include restitution of all he’s paid for this “hunting” to animal sanctuaries; that he must photograph in the wild each of the animals he’s listed as having killed, whether by his “hunting groups” or in criminal records (yes, go photograph a bear); that he face a public (and protected) public shaming; that he get a psych evaluation and follow the recommendation; that he lost his dentistry license for ethical breeches/unethical breaches.

That’s a start.

Here’s the Board of Dentistry’s Settlement regarding the sexual harassment claim against him in 2009 (note it is expressly not “Disciplinary Action”):

Walter Palmer_Agreement for Corrective Action – MN Board of Dentistry

And on NPR (I’d write that headline a bit different… “hunter?” … maybe just “Walt, call home!”):

U.S. Authorities Can’t Find Hunter Who Killed ‘Cecil the Lion’

Let’s keep on this guy… and let’s keep on all the other issues we care about, stop the Clean Line, all four of them, keep demonstrating at the Mall of America, jump up and with with glee as they shut down sand mines in the Driftless area, and run “Greenmark Solar” out of Red Wing!

Categories: Citizens

Xcel Energy admits “growth” is down

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 5:54pm

Xcel Energy’s 2nd quarter call was this morning.

Xcel Energy (XEL) Benjamin G. S. Fowke on Q2 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

From the Seeking Alpha transcript, a cute tidbut:

The decline in residential sales is driven by lower customer usage. We believe this trend is due to a combination of factors including appliance efficiency, conservation efforts, and an increase in multi-unit dwellings. We have adjusted our annual electric sales guidance to reflect year-to-date results, which lowers our expected growth rate for 2015 to about 0.5%.

Got that?

0.5%

That’s a ways away from the 2.49% upon which the CapX 2020 transmission build-out was based.  DOH!

And about multi-year plans and why they “underperformed,” there was this snippet on the Seeking Alpha transcript:

And I think if you look at why we’ve under-earned, we’ve had a lot of CapEx going through a funnel. We had to relicense our nuclear plants. We had some challenges there as everyone in the industry did. And we didn’t have a lot of forums to communicate some of those challenges. So it’s not only the mechanisms associated with the legislation in the multi-year plan; it’s kind of what that frees you up to do. And I am optimistic that we will make good progress next year and in the years to come.

And from our friends at Xcel:

2Q 2015 Report_1001200774

And more:

• Xcel Energy Second Quarter 2015 Earnings Report
• Xcel Energy Second Quarter 2015 Earnings Presentation

And for those of you into charts and graphs (from the 2Q 2015 Report_1001200774):

Categories: Citizens

Will Delaware, like Illinois, sue FERC and PJM?

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:00am

PJM’s Plan for Delaware

Sure hope so — they’ve got it coming.  Cost apportionment is a big issue, and for PJM, well, they’d taken their cost apportionment dream to FERC, got the FERC rubber stamp, but it seems they’ve not done a good job of it, according to the Federal Court — that’s old news:

Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC August 6, 2009

Fast forward to today — turns out Delaware’s Gov. Markell is objecting to costs assessed to Delaware ratepayers, (though I’m not seeing any objection to the project itself coming out of Delaware).  DOH!  He’d better, this project does nothing for Delaware.

Here’s the PJM Planning doc that tells all:

PJM White Paper Artificial Island Project

Note on the first page the statement of need, of why this project is wanted — this is really important:

PJM specified that solution proposals must improve stability margins, reduce Artificial Island MVAR output requirements and address high voltage reliability issues.

So let me get this straight — they’re having stability and reliability issues and PSEG wants to reduce Artificial Island MVAR output requirements, and want to charge Delaware ratepayers for this?  PUH-LEEZE… This is a benefit to PSEG, not Delmarva…

And look what our big-coal friends at ODEC have to say:

ODEC letter regarding Artificial Island 7-29-2015

This project taps into the new line that was built not long ago:

Delaware has no regulation of transmission need or siting — so utilities can pretty much do whatever they want.  Further, it’s a FERC tariff, so the state doesn’t have anything to say about it going into the rates, and cost apportionment.  Great, just great.  So now Markell is objecting?  It’s a little late…

Delaware needs legislation — legislation like a “Power Plant Siting Act” and a legislative requirement of a need determination for whatever infrastructure they think they want.  They need legislation specifying that only Delaware utilities can own and operate transmission in Delaware (see House Bill 387 from the 2014 session).  Here’s what House Bill 387 would have done (It would have been an effective good start, protective of Delaware!), establish that a utility wanting to construct and operate transmission demonstrate NEED!  Here’s the wording, though it would require quite a bit more, and some solid rules, to be effective:

(5)Public utility electric transmission service providers must have a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the construction and operation of any new electric transmission lines operating at 100KV or greater and located in the State or offshore waters and integrated with the State electric transmission grid.In granting such certificate, the Commission shall consider:

a.the need for the proposed transmission line;

b.the impact on the reliability of the transmission grid

c.the long term viability of the public utility proposing the line;

d.the technical engineering and operating expertise of the public utility;

e.the technology and design proposed for the new transmission line; and

f.the economic and safety impact of the proposed transmission line.

Here’s the report about this PJM approval from Jeff Montgomery, News Journal:

Disputed cost-shares remain in plan for new power line

Note this snippet:

PJM officials said regional and federal rules and precedents obliged the organization to assign 99.99 percent of costs to Delmarva’s transmission zone, mostly in Delaware and Maryland.

The total includes the cost of a $146 million power line installation under the Delaware River and $68 million worth of transformer and substation work by Public Service Electric and Gas at the Artificial Island nuclear complex along the Delaware River southeast of Port Penn.

The Delaware Public Service Commission estimated that transmission costs would increase by about 25 percent in Delaware because of the plan.

“For the average residential consumer, monthly electric bills could increase by several dollars. For the average business, the increase may be more significant,” Markell said in his objection. “Some of our heaviest users could see increases of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

And here’s the schedule for this project going forward from the PJM Board meeting yesterday:

Seems there’s an opportunity before the FERC ALJ.  But before then?  What is Delaware going to do?  Well, take a look at what Illinois did when it didn’t appreciate the FERC Cost Apportionment scheme — they sued FERC and won, based on the notion that if they weren’t benefitting, they shouldn’t be the ones paying:

Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC August 6, 2009

The FERC Cost Apportionment scheme was remanded, and it’s in settlement negotiations right now.  What is Delaware doing in that docket?  To review the public postings, go HERE and search for FERC Docket EL05-121.  The next settlement conference is Thursday, August 6, 2015, starting at 10:15 a.m. in a hearing room at FERC HQ.  Delaware is represented in this, at least there are Delaware PSC staff listed on the service list, Janis Dillard, John Farber, and Robert Howatt.  So what are they doing about this cost apportionment scheme?  Seems this settlement conference is just the place for raising a stink about the PJM cost apportionment scheme, to raise issues of “benefits” and “cause cost, pay” arguments.  Are they showing up and speaking up for Delaware?

Categories: Citizens

SPP Planning: It’s as if Clean Lines don’t exist!

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 2:49pm

As if they don’t exist?  Yes, and that’s because they don’t.  That’s because they’re transmission projects in their own minds, and not in reality.

What?  SPP, the Southwest Power Pool, dissing Clean Line?  See for yourself!  It’s as simple as doing a simple search of the SPP planning reports.

We know, Clean Line is all about Clean Line, but there’s a significant disconnect between what Clean Line is saying about SPP, claiming “approval” of its projects and incorporation of those projects into SPP’s plans, and the reality of what shows up in those plans.  Or more correctly, what DOESN’T show up in those plans:

CLEAN LINE IS ABSENT!

PLAINS & EASTERN CLEAN LINE IS ABSENT!

GRAIN BELT EXPRESS CLEAN LINE IS ABSENT!

Whadda ya mean?  Well, on November 19, 2012, Plains & Eastern Clean Line sent out this press release:

SPP Transmission Working Group approves Plains & Eastern Clean Line reliability studies

This press release was EVERYWHERE, with Clean Line jubilant, jumping up and down, so excited and so elated, and stated that:

The Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) Transmission Working Group today unanimously passed a motion accepting that the Plains & Eastern Clean Line reliability studies completed to date have met the coordinated planning requirements.

And went on to say (emphasis added) that:

Clean Line is also pleased to announce that it recently submitted the Plains & Eastern Clean Line and Grain Belt Express Clean Line projects, both +/- 600 kV high voltage direct current transmission projects capable of transmitting 3,500 MW from the SPP footprint to external-to-SPP sinks, in each of the ITP20 Futures 1 through 4. The objective of ITP20 is to develop an EHV backbone (345 kV and above) transmission plan for a 20-year horizon. The assessment will identify a robust transmission plan that is capable of reliably and economically providing deliverability of energy to the SPP market while enabling policy initiatives. The current ITP20 process is the second Integrated Transmission Planning Year 20 Assessment (ITP20). The assessment is conducted in accordance with the SPP Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) Attachment O, and the approved ITP Manual. The assessment begins in January 2012 and is scheduled to be finalized in July 2013.

Here’s that 2013 ITP 20:

2013 ITP20 Report – Southwest Power Pool

Now check out the map of their ITP20 projects in this report — do you see either the Plains & Eastern or Grain Belt mentioned above on this map:

Nope, neither do I.  I did a search of the narrative, and “Clean Line” isn’t even mentioned once!

And there are no ITP20s after that 2013 one above, either HERE on the ITP Assessments page or HERE on the ITP20 Documents page!

Oh, OK, so what about the SPP Planning and SPP’s STEP (not unlike the MTEP and RTEP!):

2015_STEP_Report

Do a search — nada… so I tried a search on “transmission” and blew up the computer.  So the search function works and in this report also, there’s no mention of Clean Line whatsoever, be it Plains & Eastern Clean Line or Grain Belt Clean Line or just plain ol’ Clean Line.

And there’s nothing here either:

2014 ITPNT Report

It’s only in the 2015 ITP10 SCOPE that there’s any mention of “Clean Line” and it’s only the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, not both, AND it’s only for sensitivity analysis.  This is not being included as a project, contemplated or promoted.

2015 ITP10 Scope Final MOPC

And in the resulting 2015 ITP10?  A mention in the list of sensitivities, and then three mentions on p. 103:

Final_2015_ITP10_Report_BOD_Approved_012715

And in the SPP 2015 Final Near Term Assessment, not a mention:

Final_2015_ITPNT_Assessment_BOD_Approved

When it comes to the scope of their next ITP10, Clean Line disappears, not even one mention, nada, again, not even an honorable mention as a “sensitivity” in the scope:

2016_ITPNT_Scope

Meanwhile, Illinois is holding “public hearings” that are very limited for what a large project this is, and very odd, considering that there are pending Motions for Reconsideration in this docket (Grain Belt Express Docket #15-0277 online at ICC’s e-docket system at www.icc.illinois.gov).

Public hearings tonight and tomorrow in Illinois:

I’d hope that Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee pay attention to this lack of incorporation of any Clean Line project into SPP Planning!

Oh, and of course, the DOE should be paying attention!  Hey Office of Electric Deliverability and Energy Reliability, are you paying attention?

 

Categories: Citizens

James McIntyre ID’d as man shot by RCMP

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 9:53am

This killing is very disheartening.  I’m shook.  As one who spends an inordinate amount of time outside the doorway of nearly every utility infrastructure meeting, open house, and hearing, handing out flyers and greeting everyone as the come in (just attended this last round of GNTL, printer not working so no flyers to be handed out!), this killing by RCMP is most disturbing.  When stationed outside meetings, I’ve been told to leave, to stop handing out flyers (pretty revolutionary flyers, too, telling people how to file comments on the records, urging them to show up at hearings), and I’ve been told to get off private property, that’s happened a few times over the years.  And each time I’ve objected, “resisted” following their directions, standing my ground.  I’ve also objected to police presence at these meetings — sometimes they’re called to keep an eye on things (?? exactly what and why??), and admittedly certain people, and I tell the organizers and the officers that I object, and stress that it has a chilling effect on participation.  Now?  Guess I’ll think twice, or maybe three times, about getting vocal when told to leave.

What happened in Dawson Creek?  There was a tweet prior to the meeting saying “Anonymous splinter group (to) attend the scheduled meeting in Dawson Creek tonight starting at 6pm,” (seems to have been deleted?).  One protester attended the open house, and he got rowdy at a meeting, it’s not clear exactly what happened, did he have a mask on or not, but it sounds like he dumped over displays and tore up maps, and then was asked to leave and he did leave the meeting without further hassle.  Meanwhile someone called police.  RCMP arrived on high alert, found a man at the entrance wearing a mask, according to statements, officers presumed it was same one disrupting the open house, they had an agitated back and forth with the man near the door, it’s reported he had a knife, in hand or in case on belt.  RCMP shoots and kills him.  The youtube shows the aftermath.  Photos show a guy with hood up, Guy Fawkes mask on, hands in front of him.  He visibly bled out on the sidewalk.  Initially, it was reported that it was the same guy as was inside the open house, and then, many hours afterwards, they revealed that no, the man who was killed was not the same person who was causing the disturbance at the open house (not that causing a disturbance should be a death sentence), and the one causing the disturbance had left the scene, he was alive and well.  There were also reports that the man shot and killed was involved in an unrelated domestic disturbance in the bar but that has disappeared from reports and appears not to be true.  An apartment was raided, and it seems it was the “disruptors” family’s apartment.

Regional District wants BC Hydro to hit brakes on Site C Site C Dam and Powerplant Not Needed

And let’s not have anymore gatherings about this project for a while, makes sense:

BC Hydro Site C protest in Vancouver cancelled due to concerns about violence

And:

B.C. Hydro delays Site C job fair events in three northern B.C. communities, citing safety concerns

But I sure hope everyone’s keeping in mind just who’s being violent here!

Alaska Highway News seems to be doing the most thorough coverage of this, and where else is this being reported?  The man shot by RCMP outside the BC Hydro Site C meeting, about the proposed new dam project, was identified as James McIntire:

Police shooting victim identified as James McIntyre Victim was an employee at another Dawson Creek restaurant Jonny Wakefield , Mike Carter / Alaska Highway News
July 20, 2015 10:14 AM –

The B.C. Coroner’s Service has identified the man killed by police outside a Dawson Creek restaurant Thursday evening as James Daniel McIntyre, 48.

Officials say the man was a resident of Dawson Creek, and family members are asking for privacy.

McIntyre was shot dead after allegedly confronting police outside a Dawson Creek restaurant at around 6:30 July 16. Investigators say the man was wearing a mask and refused to drop a knife. 

Little is known about the man, but details are emerging, including that McIntyre worked as a dishwasher and cook’s assistant at Le’s Family Restaurant on 8th Street.

– See more at: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/dawson-creek/police-shooting-victim-identified-as-james-mcintyre-1.2006178#sthash.j5kGpDXg.dpuf

From Vice Media: Everything We Know About the Death of an Anonymous “Comrade” in RCMP Shooting But wait… it gets weirder, an apartment was raided, and “I’m going to let you read between the lines on that” was the RCMP comment: Police raid apartment connected to Site C disruptor Search of building on 13th St. turns up ‘nothing’ Mike Carter , Jonny Wakefield / Alaska Highway News

July 20, 2015 10:08 AM

RCMP searched this Dawson Creek apartment building on 13th Street Saturday afternoon, in relation to a disruption at a Site C event and fatal police shooting just days earlier. Jonny Wakefield Photo

Police are releasing little information about a raid at a Dawson Creek apartment building Saturday connected with last week’s deadly police shooting.

According to North District RCMP, police searched an apartment building on 13th Street around noon as part of their investigation into the disturbance at a BC Hydro Site C open house Thursday night in the banquet hall of Fixx Urban Grill. 

RCMP media relations officer Dave Tyreman said police did not target a specific apartment and instead searched the entire building.

“Members attended that apartment building and searched it for public safety,” Tyreman said, stating, “I’m going to let you read between the lines on that.”

The search turned up nothing. 

“Nothing came of it. To us, it’s a moot point,” Tyreman added. 

Anonymous threat

It is unclear if the search was related to a threat received Saturday afternoon from the hacker group Anonymous.

The group released a statement that afternoon claiming the victim of the deadly police-involved shooting was one of their own, while swearing “vengeance.”

Tyreman couldn’t say much about the threat.

“We’re aware of the online information and currently reviewing it,” he said. “We get information and in this case we forward it on to the appropriate people and they’re reviewing it.”

The Coroners Service is expected to release the identity of the victim today.

– See more at: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/dawson-creek/police-raid-apartment-connected-to-site-c-disruptor-1.2006137#sthash.GCbQ3H6v.dpuf

 

Categories: Citizens

Ch. 7829 Rulemaking Comments

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 1:47pm

Today in the inbox, this DNR Comment on the Chapter 7829 Rulemaking appeared:

DNR 7829 Comment_20157-112548-01

Here’s the juicy part:

DOH!  Brilliant!  So I quick wrote this up and filed a few minutes ago:

Overland 7829 Comments July 2015

Agencies have contributed so much when they show up, and now the DNR and DOT do show up and it’s so much appreciated!  How can building the record and getting their comments in be anything but good!  Let’s do it!!  Let’s establish a distinct status for state agencies to participate in Public Utility Commission dockets!

 

Categories: Citizens

RCMP shoots hydro dam protester? Nope, misidentified!

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 11:05am

.
When you’re challenging utility projects, be careful. The guy who was shot was misidentified, but he’s still dead, that won’t change…

There was someone disrupting the BC Hydro open house/meeting, tearing up maps, toppling easels, etc., and he was asked to leave and was escorted out. It seems it was another person who was shot! There’s been no claim that the disruptive person was armed or threatening anyone. There are reports that the man who was shot didn’t follow police instructions/didn’t listen to orders, something like that, and that he had a knife. SHOT?!?! KILLED?!?!

See below, confirmation that the “Site C protester” and the man who was shot are DIFFERENT PEOPLE!

Report from Red Power Media:

‘Guy Fawkes’ Masked Man Dead After RCMP Shooting at BC Hydro Open House

In the press:

Two men involved in fatal RCMP shooting in Dawson Creek (this one says he may had been involved in a domestic dispute in the bar)

Police say man shot in Dawson Creek was masked and aggressive (they’ve changed the headline on this article)

Anonymous issues warnings over Dawson Creek shooting


Dawson Creek police shoot man who refused to throw weapon away, witness claims

Fatal shooting in Dawson Creek not connected to “Site C”

RCMP fatally shoot man at BC Hydro information session

Two men involved in fatal RCMP shooting in Dawson Creek

Here’s the witness’ video, he saw them shoot him and started recording:

OH, CANADA…

Press conference – IIO’s Kellie Kilpatrick, executive director of public accountability with the Independent Investigations Office:

Site C protester and shooting victim were not the same man

Nearly 24 hours after a police shooting left a man dead outside a Dawson Creek restaurant, B.C.’s law enforcement watchdog was convinced the victim and a man who disrupted a Site C dam open house inside were one and the same.

They were not.

“We verified, verified, verified. At two o’clock I was told the same guy, at three o’clock I was told the same guy, then I land in Dawson Creek and I’m told ‘different guy,'” said Kellie Kilpatrick, executive director of public accountability with the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) at a media conference at 7 p.m. Friday.

Thursday night, the IIO and RCMP said the shooting occurred outside a public information session on the Site C dam, and that the man who was killed was “believed to be connected” to the disturbance inside.

Instead, the man who reportedly flipped tables and destroyed maps at the BC Hydro event is alive, while another is dead.

The IIO could not yet confirm what the victim was doing at the Fixx Urban Grill restaurant on the evening of July 16, but said he had a knife. Police shot the man after he acted aggressively and refused to comply with police instructions. He died shortly after. Little is known about him, as investigators have not released his name.

As for what investigators know about the man at the Site C event: “He’s alive,” Kilpatrick said.

According to Kilpatrick, the Dawson Creek investigation has been one of the most complex the office has encountered since it was created in 2012.

“Since the beginning of the operations of the IIO, we’ve not seen a case that has quite as many moving parts as this one,” she said.

“The RCMP as well as the IIO spent close to four hours last night confirming what we thought was the most relevant, most accurate information. To come speak to you now almost 24 hours later, and provide a significant change in the information is not something we typically find ourselves dealing with.

“That’s a fairly substantive clarification that needed to be made.”

It was a remarkable turn in a day that saw Dawson Creek and its police force thrust into the spotlight, and one of the most controversial projects in B.C. linked to a police shooting.

At about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, police shot and killed the man outside the front door of the Fixx restaurant. A video of the aftermath emerged online, showing officers with guns pointed at the man, who appeared to be holding a knife.

An open house about construction of the controversial $8.8-billion Site C dam was taking place in banquet facilities of the restaurant that evening.

According to an attendee, a man flipped tables and tore display boards illustrating the dam from their stands before being escorted out of the room.

Curtis Pratt was inside and said he did not hear shots, but later saw the body. He said the victim was wearing a mask, and he wasn’t sure whether it was the man from inside.

Kilpatrick did not have additional information about the protestor, but said “he never did come into contact with police.”

Her office is continuing to investigate the shooting. The officers involved have been sequestered, and it is not clear whether they will be charged, suspended or placed on administrative leave. The IIO also said investigators were not sure if the officers had tasers or other lesser means of force, which will be a key part of the investigation.

“That’s something our investigators have been following up on today. I don’t have the answer to that,” Kilpatrick said.

“What an officer carries on his toolbelt varies depending on officer location, detachment and the type of work they are doing.”

What is clear is that “police came in response to the disturbance and found themselves in contact with this other individual,” Kilpatrick said.

The IIO is asking anyone with information about what happened in the area to come forward, saying cell phone videos are of particular interest.

“In this day of social media, we aware that there is a lot of information circulating out there,” Kilpatrick said. “We’re very interested in speaking with anyone who has information about what they saw or what they heard here last evening,” she added.

Anyone with information is asked to call the IIO at 1-855-446-TIPS.

Categories: Citizens

Some Comments filed in Plains & Eastern Clean Line

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 12:52pm

Here are a few comments filed, very articulate and specific reasons why the Department of Energy shouldn’t “participate” in this Section 1222 transmission project:

From BLOCK Plains & Eastern here are a few links (thanks for sending them, hard to get anything up here in the woods):

Please skip to page 264 of the PDF to read our BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma official comment:

http://www.energy.gov/…/Comment%20from%20BLOCK%20Plains%20%…

We would also like to acknowledge and thank Downwind, LLC, for formally supporting our efforts to date. They are an organization of landowners in eastern Arkansas (represented by Jordan Wimpy of Gill Ragon Owen, PA, Little Rock) that has formed in opposition to the Plains and Eastern project:

http://www.energy.gov/…/Comment%20from%20Downwind%2C%20LLC%…

Jordan Wimpy’s FANTASTIC comment on behalf of Downwind, LLC:

http://www.energy.gov/…/Comment%20from%20Downwind%2C%20LLC%…

Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt for his Office’s comment. The potential protection to landowners in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee that your comment might help afford cannot be overstated:

http://www.energy.gov/…/f24/Comment%20from%20OAG%2007-13-15…

Southwest Power Resources Association lays out the MANY problems RE: liability in this project, and their comment should be read by all with an interest:

http://www.energy.gov/…/Comment%20from%20Scott%20Williams%2…

Comment from the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (The equivalent to SPRA for the Western Area Power Association) supporting SPRA’s objections to the Project:

http://www.energy.gov/…/Comment%20from%20Leslie%20James%20o…

Will tidy this up when there’s better access.  Internet is NOT to be taken for granted, nor is cell phone access, here on the Canadian Border!  It’s the “Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line road show.  The same DOE office is handling the GNTL project as the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, different staff, but pretty close.  The transition from D.C. to Roseau and Baudette must be a rough one!  But there’s good coffee and treats, thanks for breakfast!

Categories: Citizens

BLOCK Plains & Eastern Comment & Motion filed

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 5:38pm

Quick — email angela.colamaria@hq.doe.gov and ask that they hold public hearings, just like they did for the environmental review!

Today is the deadline for Comments on the “Section 1222″ review, time to tell the DOE what you think of this (&($%&(#@*%&()# project!

BLOCK_Comment_Motion_FINAL

BLOCK_Comment_Attachments_A-J

Are we having fun now?

And good news today too — we’re getting some “US TOO!” support on our previously filed Petitions and Motion.  YES!  That helps!

Categories: Citizens

The Politics of Rage

Sat, 07/11/2015 - 6:39pm

My latest book arrived today, put Little Sadie in the house when mailman arrived, had to sign for something else and didn’t want her to sink her teeth into him.  Anyway, it’s Dan T. Carter’s “The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics.  Someone posted an article recently that referenced it, and it seemed so fitting. You can order it HERE at www.abebooks.com!

I remember George Wallace and his runs for President, though I don’t remember his inauguration rallying cry when first Governor, much written by KKK wordsmith Ace Carter, “Segregation now… segregation tomorrow… segregation forever.”  I also remember clearly, and remember my distrust, as Wallace claimed to own the errors of his racist past and beliefs.  Still skeptical… but I’m reading this to get a better handle on white supremacy in the U.S., how it’s morphed over the years, and how it’s all connected.  This rage that I see so often, I don’t get it, didn’t then, don’t now, and I’m seeing it in people near and far, such visceral rage, and I just can’t understand the origin.  But in just the first 41 pages, I see it’s the same framing.  George Wallace did indeed tap into fears, tensions, hostility and hate, rewrapped it over time, and shaped the rhetoric of open and of submerged racism that’s still used today.

Categories: Citizens

Smoke in our Mississippi River valley

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 9:32pm

Photos say it all…

Yes, it’s really this bad.  That’s the sun on a “clear” day.  Air quality is baddest of the bad, “Unhealthy” per the MPCA which isn’t exactly fond of negative declarations like that.  Got a 200 reading at St. Michael, that’s as high as the scale goes, so I’m sure that somewhere it’s off the charts.  It was 193 this afternoon in Prestigious East Phillips, and… well… note how few monitors there are around the state.  We don’t have one in Red Wing.  There probably isn’t one in yours either.

See “current conditions” here.

Keep in mind this is biomass we’re breathing, and the emissions from trees are pretty awful.  Ask Alan Muller about that.

This is the result of all the fires in Canada added to the baseline pollution of the ND and MN coal plants, the turkey shit burner in Benson, all the garbage burners around the state including here in Red Wing.  We have a microclimate here in the Mississippi River valley, but it’s not just here where it gathers, it’s bad everywhere, the whole state, well, almost.

Don’t deep breathe, don’t do any outside exertion, don’t breathe the air if you can help it.  If you’re like me, you’re probably hacking and wheezing a bit.

Categories: Citizens

Hartland firefighter suspended

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 9:00am
                                      Photo by Linda Wallace

The Hartland firefighter who put the Stars & Bars battleflag on the city fire truck for the Albert Lea parade has been suspended.   He seems to be starting to figure out that he didn’t think it through.  As a condition of keeping his job, he should have to do some homework and write about Minnesota participation in the Civil War and the meanings of the use of that flag from the 1940s to the present, to be published as Commentary in the Albert Lea Tribune.

The parade organizer still refuses to take any responsibility.

It’s hit TIME Magazine:

Firefighter Suspended for Flying Confederate Flag During Parade

From KMSP:

Firefighter suspended for flying Confederate flag at parade in Albert Lea, Minn.

In the Albert Lea Tribune:

Hartland firefighter suspended after flying Confederate flag in parade
Categories: Citizens

Confederate battle flag in Albert Lea parade?

Sun, 07/05/2015 - 12:36am

So it’s the 4th of July, and yesterday in Albert Lea’s parade, a Hartland Fire Department truck is displaying the Confederate battle flag.  Yes, really.  A publicly owned City of Hartland truck, a public employee, in Minnesota… speechless…

Many people get the origin of this flag confused, it’s not an official state flag or a “Confederate” flag, but is a battle flag of Virginia.  More disturbing is that most people don’t know of the history of use of this flag in the 1940s and on to the present as a symbol of resistance/opposition to integration.  This symbolism is what I object to, the way it’s been used as a symbol of suppression and hate, often under color of law, such as use by Gov. George Wallace when he fought integration of his state’s schools.  People here in the North are particularly ignorant of the history of this flag.  I see it often as a bumper sticker, as a decal on a truck window, or big truck grills and mudflaps.

How many thousands of people attended this parade?  Yet this happened… no one stood up… no one stopped it… silence… The silence of people in Albert Lea on Friday watching this is worse than the display, it is through silence that some of the most horrific behavior in human history has occurred.  The Hartland Fire Department and City which allowed this use on its City equipment should be held accountable.  And then there’s the guy who put it there, Brian Nielsen — what message is he delivering to his daughter, his daughter’s friend, and his niece?  The organizer, per the STrib, “chuckled a bit.”

From MPR: Southern Minnesota fire department takes a stand for the Confederacy

In the STrib: Firetruck flies Confederate flag  alongside stars and stripes in holiday parade

Parade rules distributed to entrants say “all vehicles … must be decorated in either a patriotic theme or according to the parade theme.” This year’s theme: “Teaming Up for America.”

Kehr chuckled a bit and acknowledged that the Hartland firetruck was “probably not” in compliance.

“chuckled a bit” — very funny…

And the Washington Times: Minnesota firefighter flies Confederate flag in parade

And the first article from the Albert Lea paper:

Confederate flag flown at Third of July Parade

Published 1:34pm Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Confederate flag flown on the back of the Hartland Fire Department truck during the Third of July Parade sparked conversation in the community and on social media.

Brian Nielsen, who drove the truck with his wife, daughter, his daughter’s friend and his niece, said he has been on the department for about 10 years.

“It’s not that I’m up for the rebel or the slavery part of it, “ Nielsen said. “It’s history. They’re trying to take this flag away. They’re basically trying to change the history and abolish it and get rid of it.”

The comments come about two weeks after nine people were killed on June 17 at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. Authorities said the accused gunman had posed in photographs with the Confederate battle flag.

The shooting has sparked debate across the country about the role of the Confederate flag, and the South Carolina Legislature is slated to vote about whether to remove the flag from the Statehouse grounds. Walmart has announced it is removing any items from its store and website that feature the flag.

“Even the Minnesota flag, they want to change that,” Nielsen said. “Where does it end?”

Nielsen said he wasn’t looking to get a lot of attention from his decision to fly the flag, and he didn’t think it would spur as much discussion as it has. He, himself, has a family member who is black, he said.

He had the Confederate flag on one side of the back end of the truck, while the U.S. flag was on the other.

He noted he saw two or three other Confederate flags along the parade route.

Nielsen said he talked with a few of the other firefighters on the department, and they supported him standing up for his rights. Another fire department in the county approached him as well saying they had considered doing the same thing.

Here’s another photo, this one by Laura Walker:

From Ryan Ruud who took this in Erhard, MN on July 4th:

Categories: Citizens

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