SNORT — love it when this happens.  Xcel Energy truck slid into the ditch, and note that the trailer didn’t take out the xmsn structure!

Xcel Energy truck slides into ditch in Faribault

Thanks to Faribault Daily News for this!


Matt Schuerger has been appointed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission?  What is Gov. Dayton thinking?  More on this in a future post…

From the Governor’s website:

Governor Dayton Appoints Matthew Schuerger to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

January 19, 2016
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced his appointment of Matthew Schuerger to serve a six year term on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Schuerger will be replacing Betsy Wergin, whose term expired on January 4, 2016.
“It is my pleasure to appoint Matthew Schuerger to serve on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission,” said Governor Dayton. “Mr. Schuerger brings with him an impressive record of private-sector experience running a company focused on sustainable energy systems, and has admirably served as a technical advisor to both the State of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota.”
Mr. Schuerger is the President of Energy Systems Consulting Services, LLC, an engineering and management consulting firm focused on planning, development, and analysis. His recent work includes serving as a technical advisor to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the University of Minnesota. Previously, Mr. Schuerger was the Executive Vice President for District Energy St. Paul, Inc.
Mr. Schuerger is a licensed electrical and mechanical engineer, and earned his B.S. from Purdue University, his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, and his M.S. from the University of Minnesota.
A headshot of Mr. Schuerger can be found here: http://mn.gov/governor/images/schuerger_matthew.jpg
About the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regulates three cornerstone service industries of Minnesota’s economy, including electricity, natural gas, and telephone services. Its mission is to create and maintain a regulatory environment that ensures safe, reliable, and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates. For more information about the Public Utilities Commission, visit http://mn.gov/puc/.


It’s here — the report I’ve been waiting for (well, it’s been around for a while, but it just popped up on the screen)!!!


From the CyberSquirrel1 site:

“I don’t think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the number-one threat experienced to date by the US electrical grid is squirrels.”

    – John C. Inglis, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency 2015.07.09

Ain’t technology grand??



Shame, Xcel Energy.  Your basis for objecting to the Petition for Intervention of No CapX 2020 and Carol A. Overland is just not holding up when looking at other interventions, and noting that in your Xcel-existence, in all your rate cases, you’ve only objected to one potential intervenor.  So take that, Xcel:

No CapX 2020_Response 2 Xcel’s Objection

Here’s Xcel’s Objection:

20161-116957-02_Xcel’s Objection to Intervention

And here’s the original Petition for Intervention:

NoCapX 2020 and Carol A. Overland_Intervention Petition Packet



Yesterday at the Xcel Energy rate case prehearing conference, Xcel’s attorney, Eric Swanson, stated that they’d be objecting to the No CapX 2020/Overland intervention.  Just after that prehearing conference ended, their objection was filed:

20161-116957-02_Objection Intervention

Good idea, Xcel….

What do other Petitions for Intervention look like?  What other Objections has Xcel made to Interventions?  What do Petitions for Interventions that have been granted by an ALJ look like?  Let’s compare…

Recently, Xcel Energy’s Chris Clark, who I’d been working in tandem with years ago when he was just lowly corporate counsel cohort opposing the legislatively mandated Power Purchase Agreement for the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project said, “I just don’t understand why the transmission side hates you so!” (rough, not exact quote).


Well, Chris, I guess you’re gonna find out.

I presume that this is just a way to eliminate anyone that they haven’t bought off in the course of that “e21 Initiative” where they “reached consensus” about wanting a business-plan based multi-year rate plan — many of the usual suspects were NOT present at that Prehearing Conference and there’d only been two Interventions filed prior to the Prehearing Conference, and only one filed since.


Yeah, great idea.  I testified against that effort at both Senate and House committees, where the room was backed full of those who’d “reached consensus” and they were all S-I-L-E-N-T as Sen. Marty and Rep. Garofalo ushered that bill through.  SHAME!  Will they show up for the rate case, and what position might the take?  Certainly not anything challenging the “Multi-Year Rate Plan.”

There was an interesting twist too.  I’d brought up that under Minn. Stat. 10A.01, Subd. 2, participation on a rate case is deemed lobbying, and requires registration and reporting when/if the thresholds are met, and requested that this requirement be addressed in the Prehearing Order.  The ALJ clearly knew nothing about it.

Minn. Stat. 10A.01, Subd. 2.  Administrative action.

“Administrative action” means an action by any official, board, commission or agency of the executive branch to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule under chapter 14. “Administrative action” does not include the application or administration of an adopted rule, except in cases of rate setting, power plant and powerline siting, and granting of certificates of need under section 216B.243.

I’d noted in the discussion that the lobbying statute is typically noted in the Commission’s referral to OAH, and thankfully, on the record, I’d thought to look at that Order, and there it was, p. 7:


And I noticed that Eric Swanson was very, very quiet during that discussion.  HE is the one who charged me with not registering as lobbyist in the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line case, as attorney for Minnesota Power.  That was such a low budget virtually pro bono operation that there’s no way either RRANT or I would meet the thresholds for registering or reporting.  That gambit of his was just more harassment, trying to limit legitimate critique of their project and process.

So now, for a response to that Objection to Intervention of No CapX 2020 and Overland…