Wind on the Wires Gala…

In Chicago, Bill Clinton calls for national grid to boost renewable energy.

Yes, it’s all connected…There goes Clinton promoting transmission that enables coal.

We all know Bill Clinton has his warts:


But did you know that yesterday Clinton exhibited a major outbreak of warts as a transmission toady for Obama?


And we all know Obama loves transmission and declared seven transmission projects for “accelerated permitting and construction” including two of “my” projects, the PSEG Susquehanna-Roseland line and Xcel’s CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse line.  I’ve posted a few times about this:

Obama “fast tracks” transmission?!?!?!

Obama’s Transmission BS in the News

What does Obama’s Xmsn push mean?

Here’s the plan in the Midwest — check out the blue solid lines and dashed lines:


… and it gets worse:


These JCSP lines are in the MTEP 11 Appendices, 765kV lines across the Midwest:

MTEP11 Appendices ABC

But do you know the level of toadyism and sell-out of so called “environmental” groups that made this transmission build-out possible?  Transmission is just one of the legacies of the Izaak Walton League (and its program “Wind on the Wires”), Fresh Energy, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and North American Water Office.  There’s also coal gasification, burning turkey shit, and rolling for nuclear power in a deal to stick nuclear waste in Florence Township and taking the money for compensation of the Prairie Island Indian Community and shift that into the Renewable Energy Development Fund, Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) legislation that gave House Speaker Steve Sviggum a turbine and substation on his land in the first C-BED project applied for (and thankfully failed).  Gee, thanks for all of this and more from Minnesota’s “environmental” organizations over the years… the 1994 Prairie Island deal, the 2002 Transmission deal, the 2003 Prairie Island deal… it makes me ill.  Who do they think they are to make these deals, who are they representing?  Not the people!  Not the public interest!


Here’s some primary documentation:

Settlement Agreement – ME3(Fresh Energy), Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, North American Water Office

$8.1 Million to Wind on Wires – grant from McKnight/Energy Foundation

$4.5 Million to Wind on Wires – grant from McKnight/Energy Foundation

2005 Session Laws Chapter 97 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell

“Wind on the Wires” website – remember, this is a subset of Walton’s, they’re on Walton’s payroll until after 2010 election

Bill Grant – Sawmill Presentation – Promotion of Coal Gasification

Presentations at IEDC (Legalectric – posted February 16th, 2007)

IEDC gets carried away (Legalectric – posted February 15th, 2007)


You might think this is old news, but it’s not, it’s got an impact right now, an impact felt by the thousands of landowners whose land is being condemned right now for CapX 2020 transmission routed over their land.  Why?  Well, just after Mark Dayton won the election in 2010, the Waltons and Wind on the Wires did a spin off (note their numbers don’t match), separating the two, that’s just after the election, and just before Gov. Mark Dayton announced the Walton’s Bill Grant would be the new Deputy Commissioner of Dept. of Commerce in charge of Energy Facilities Permitting.

2010 Izaak Walton League of America IRS Form 990

2009 Izaak Walton League of America IRS Form 990

And “Wind on the Wires” IRS 990s:

Wind on the Wires 2009 IRS Form 990 (signed 11-12-10, a week after the election)

Wind on the Wires 2010 IRS Form 990 (signed 11-14-2011)

How could anyone be more unsuitable for a position heading the state Energy Facilities Permitting department at Commerce?

Here’s the article in its entirety for posterity — from Midwest Energy News, brought to us by (buy) RE-AMP!

In Chicago, Bill Clinton calls for national grid to boost renewable energy

“Look what happened to civilizations that had their day in the sun and then declined,” he said. “Progress is a long road, a lot of rolling big rocks up steep hills.”

CHICAGO — Former President Bill Clinton invoked the ancient Sumerians, campaign stops at wind-blown Texas border towns, the looming budgetary fiscal cliff and an eclectic assortment of other concepts while proselytizing for more investments in the grid and clean energy, during his speech at the Wind on the Wires gala in Chicago Wednesday night.

Veering between big picture philosophical conclusions and wonkish descents into policy details and proposals, Clinton made the case that renewable energy is symbolic of a struggle central to human nature: “a constant tug of war between the demands of the present and the possibilities of the future.” Between sticking with long-time practices that seem most safe and lucrative in the present, versus forays into new territory that offer more hope for the future.

This dichotomy is exemplified in North Dakota, Clinton noted. According to a study done by the administration of former President George W. Bush, Clinton said, North Dakota alone could theoretically provide for a quarter of the country’s energy needs with wind power if the turbines and interstate transmission lines existed.

“The money and power is there to frack out all the natural gas and oil, but not to build out the grid,” Clinton lamented.

He praised Wind on the Wires and their allies for making great progress in expanding wind power in the Midwest and bringing together environmental and business interests on common ground. But, he said, much remains to be done and a drastic overhaul of the country’s electric grid is necessary to make it happen.

Wind on the Wires is a member of RE-AMP, which also publishes Midwest Energy News, and Midwest Energy News was a media sponsor for the event.

One nation under a grid

Clinton called for a national grid, which would allow centralized decision-making and investment more conducive to renewables and distributed generation.  And he proposed funding grid improvements with a national infrastructure bank, which could attract capital in part as a place American companies could invest profits made abroad, rather than paying taxes on that revenue.

He repeated multiple times that extending the wind Production Tax Credit for 10 years or even permanently, is crucial to the continued growth of wind power. Without action, the tax credit will expire at the end of December.

And he urged renewable energy advocates to do a better job framing and pushing their message, including by invoking examples of the escalating impacts of climate change.

He said that groups fighting climate change should have focused more attention on Richard Muller, a University of California physicist and former climate change skeptic once beloved by the Tea Party, who became a climate change believer after doing his own sweeping study on earth surface temperatures.  If the situation were reversed and Muller was a renewable energy proponent who had a change of heart, Clinton said, the Koch brothers would have poured millions into making him a household name.

Kate O’Hair, director of the Midcontinental region for EDF Renewable Energy, indicated in remarks before Clinton’s speech that such effective messaging is especially crucial since “skepticism and criticism are at an all-time high.” But, she said, advocates “have the strength and the voice to look beyond these obstacles…overcoming these obstacles will make our industry stronger and more efficient.”

Clinton noted that likely federal budget cuts as a result of the “fiscal cliff” or a deal reached to avoid the cliff could be devastating for renewable energy, including the tax credit and research and development funding. He urged renewable energy advocates to fight hard to raise awareness of the job-creating and economic-stimulus potential of renewable energy. He cited the example of the Empire State Building energy efficiency retrofit, which he said created 275 full-time jobs for two years.

“You all should make a much bigger deal about the contributions you make to the economy,” he said.

All dressed up and nowhere to go

While diving deep into specific ways to accelerate renewable development and grid overhauls, Clinton also described such improvements as part of a larger socioeconomic shift bringing resources and jobs to marginalized rural, poor and Native American communities. He compared the electric grid to internet broadband, and said both should be expanded to offer equitable access to all – in both the metaphorical and the concrete sense – “we need to think about networks.” He implied broadband projects could be undertaken literally in tandem with electric grid expansions.

Native American tribes could “revolutionize” their fortunes if a national grid (and broadband) were in place, Clinton said, “because they have lots of wind and sun.” But on Native American land in the Great Plains and Southwest, power can’t get to market without new transmission.

Clinton lamented the “stranded” wind projects that are “all dressed up and ready to go to the prom” but can’t get construction financing because of lack of grid access.

He reminisced about negotiating the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 only to have the Senate vote 95-0 for the Byrd-Hagel resolution in opposition to joining the international climate treaty. Clinton said he is confident Congress will eventually pass a climate bill, and he urged attendees to “take President Obama’s stated strategy of ‘all of the above’ and fill in the blanks.” You can’t have an “all of the above strategy” without improving the grid, he said.

He offered a cautionary note regarding ancient people seemingly afraid to break with tradition and try new things — implying our society’s decision between continued reliance on fossil fuels or a bold shift to clean energy is potentially cataclysmic.

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