My friends at Xcel are miscalculating my schedule, sending the guys with the boom trucks over on a Friday without a deadline!!!  HA HA HA HA HA HA and not only that,

red-raspberries-636

Yeah, give ‘em the raspberries…

Today they’re taking out the poles across the street so they can start on the mother of all retaining walls.  We do now have a distribution line in the front yard.  Where’s that gauss meter?

DSC02672

Did you know that they saw down utility poles?  Odd, I figured they’d take them out and resuse them.  Here they’ve sawed the support pole in half, then took it down and are sawing it up into little chunks.  So small that I’ll bet they haul them over to their garbage burner here in Red Wing, or down to La Crosse where I know they burn railroad ties.  Railroad ties, penta poles, what’s the difference!

DSC02680

We’ve told the city that we LOVE the quiet at night, what a difference, and they were tickled that we thought they’d done something right (guess Alan and I are known around city offices).  There are deer back in da ‘hood again, one strolling down the middle of the dirt street, and somebody’s been eating the day lily buds.  We need to move some of the construction hazard lights closer.

Life goes on with construction… but work?  No way!

Prairie Island nuclear plant

While cruising the MISO queue for wind projects in Illinois, this popped up, new MISO Queue numbers J371 and J372, 3,664 MW filed near the end of June.  Oh my…

NewNuclear

But I don’t think it’s what it looks like.  I think they’re planning to shut them down.  There’s been a lot of buzz about it, they auctioned off the power… but didn’t, big FAIL, hence the buzz.  ???  They’re due for a report out in August, will keep an eye on the queue.

 

This press conference in Delaware celebrating their victory in stopping a 280 or so MW power plant flying in under the cover of a “data center” that needed maybe 1/10 of that. The University of Delaware terminated its lease agreement.

Rep. John Kowalko of Newark, Delaware — he was on this, leading the charge, and got a lot of flak for it, but persistence paid off. Kowalko is one of the few state Reps. around who represents his people with gusto!

  Press Conference Part I – Rep. Kowalko is on starting ~ 10:50

He’s also on again in Part II at 1:39, announcing a 1.2 MW solar project at the University of Delaware:

Kowalko

Three cheers for Rep. John Kowalko, who was on the front lines taking the heat about his opposition to the “Data Center” natural gas plant proposed for Newark.

This from Alan Muller, Green Delaware:

Gas attack: U of Delaware kills $1 billion data center/power plant.”

“The Data Center” was a scam so blatant, so absurd, that it should never have gotten any traction at all.

That it did is a sad commentary on the intellectual and ethical emptiness of Delaware’s “Chamber of Commerce” business community, and, of course, the administration of Gov. Jack Markell.  The so called “Delaware Economic Development Office,”especially, demonstrates a consistent and predictable idiocy backed up by secrecy and dishonesty.

Per usual in Delaware, the scam was assembled by various parties, including the Markell Administration, the University of Delaware, and the City of Newark, before the public was given notice.  Then, it was rolled out as a done deal.  Thankfully, it apparently has been undone.  (Note that the objection is mostly to the power plant, not to a data center as such.)

Aside from the obvious lie of saying a 278 megawatt gas-burning power plant was “auxiliary” to a data center, consider the un wisdom, or the symbolism, of a large new fossil-fuel power plant in a state so vulnerable to the effects of climate change that much of it will soon enough be under water.  Delaware has the lowest mean elevation of any state at 60 ft above sea level.   (Florida and Louisiana are next at 100 ft.)  The mean elevation of Kent County is only 36 feet.  Current measured sea level rise is around 3.4 mm per year and speeding up–it varies from place to place–and almost every new official prediction of sea level rise is higher than the last one.  See Waters rising … Delaware going away?”

It is long past time to be shutting down the the existing combustion power plants that drive climate change and sea level rise, far less a time to be building new ones.  (The total generating capacity in Delaware is on the order of 3300 megawatts.)

In the face of this, Markell has allowed investment in wind, solar, and energy efficiency to mostly come to a stop–suiting the interests of Delmarva Power–while embracing various schemes for burning more natural gas.  (All considered, it appears that the climate change impact of natural gas is at least as high as coal, because of the unburned methane emissions.)

Residents of the City of Newark, and faculty and students of the University of Delaware came to life to oppose a scam in which the City and the Administration of the U of D were deeply involved.  In recent decades is has been rare to see signs of political life in Newark, but self-interest does have an energizing effect.  See Newark Residents Against the Power Plant.

The Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club (especially Amy Roe) and the Delaware Audubon Society contributed.

But the real hero of this fight, in my opinion, is Rep. John Kowalko of Newark.  Kowalko relentlessly sought accurate information from various parties so he could represent the true interests of his constituents.  It doesn’t take a lot of courage for professors or environmentalists to oppose a power plant, but Kowalko, a longtime union man, took a lot of heat from any-job-at-any-cost Delaware union officials.

Kowalko, as usually does, behaved with gumption, integrity, and right-on values.   Consider the oath of office that Delaware’s Constitution prescribes for public officials:

 I, (name) , do proudly swear (or affirm) to carry out the responsibilities of the office of (name of office) to the best of my ability, freely acknowledging that the powers of this office flow from the people I am privileged to represent. I further swear (or affirm) always to place the public interests above any special or personal interests, and to respect the right of future generations to share the rich historic and natural heritage of Delaware. In doing so I will always uphold and defend the Constitutions of my Country and my State, so help me God.

How many legislators take their oath seriously?  John Kowalko is one who clearly does.  (I don’t know what role has been played by Senators representing the area.)

Compare the “Data Center” fight with the fight of people around Millsboro against a giant Korean chicken-killing plant, another Markell project just as absurd and undesirable.  See “ Just how disgusting can the Markell administration get? Is there any bottom?“  That area is represented by Gerald W. Hocker and John C. Atkins, two of the most special-interest-serving legislators in Delaware.  (Atkins has been in the news recently, and Green Delaware has featured him before.)

Friday and Saturday are forecast to be Code Yellow bad air days in Delaware.  Saturday is also Code Yellow for particles.  Some discussion of the meaning of this is here.

Alan Muller

Muller and Kowalko just prior to arrest at Legislative Hall years agogagged

stealth

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is to take up the proposal for revisions to Minn. R. Ch. 7829, which is the PUC’s practice and procedure chapter.  I call it their stealth rulemaking docket.

Bluejay    A little birdie told me that the Commission will publish a Notice of  Intent to Adopt based on the draft filed on July 9, and delegated to Commissioner Lipschultz the authority to make necessary, non-substantive edits for cleanup and consultation with the Revisor, before publication in the state register.

It will be coming back up for public comment probably in the next month or so once the draft is published.

 

Here’s the draft filed July 9:

Staff Briefing Papers_(Last Minute)_20147-101333-01

Here’s what was filed on July 2 (link may not work, eDockets is funky, “eFiling Image Repository is unavailable. We’re sorry, your search cannot be completed at this time. If you feel you have reached this message in error, please Contact Efiling.Admin@state.mn.us“):

Briefing Papers 13-24.pdf. JULY 10, 2014 AGENDA

The new filing didn’t appear in e-dockets until this morning, as I understand it, because of technical problems with e-dockets over the last 24 hours or so.

I’ve been concerned about this chapter for a long while, and submitted a Petition for Rulemaking some time ago:

Overland Petition for Rulemaking-7829

Here are the rules:

7829 Utility Proceeding, Practice, Procedure

Here’s the notice and proposed changes:

Request for Comments_20132-83863-02

Proposed Rules

It’s been an odd rulemaking.  They published the initial notice of “potential” rulemaking, or some such, but who got it?  Not moi… and I learned of it only just before it was to go before the PUC.  Here are a couple of posts:

Minn. R. 7829 marches on…

September 9th, 2013