December 9th, 2016
Trump’s energy agenda, vague as it is, has been essentially to promote “clean coal,” nuclear and to deny climate change and dismantle federal climate change and “renewable” energy programs, of course with no move to eliminate subsidies for coal and nuclear. The “transition team” sent a big laundry list of questions to the Department of Energy, and it’s pretty broad. It’s also something that would be both telling and intimidating to receive. Looking at this, there’s no doubt where they’re headed.
Here’s the document — read it and see what you think… and note how many of these questions are “Can you provide…” which are easily answered with just a “Yes” or “No” and that’s the end of it!
But wait… there’s another version (similar, but different order, etc.):
I think Trump needs somebody to write his questions for him, somebody new that is. He obviously didn’t come up with this, but his staff person who did, well, if they worked for me, “YOU’RE FIRED!”
December 8th, 2016
See the lower 1/2 of MISO’s MVP project 5, running from near Dubuque, IA to the northeast to the “Cardinal” substation near Madison? That’s the Cardinal – Hickory Creek transmission line.
The Dodgeville Chronicle ran my Letter to the Editor, just in time for the meeting last night, held by Rural Utilities Service, about the Cardinal – Hickory Creek transmission project:
From 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7th, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is hosting a scoping meeting at the Deer Valley Lodge in Barneveld. RUS will again collect scoping comments for its Environmental Impact Study as it decides on a loan to Dairyland Power Cooperative for a share of project costs. RUS held scoping meetings October 31-November 3, 2016 – why more scoping meetings now?
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project stretches from a substation near Peosta, across the Mississippi River and Wisconsin, near Dodgeville, to a substation near Madison. Last April, as reported in this paper, American Transmission Company’s Jon Callaway reported that the project schedule had been pushed out to 2018 or beyond. The reasons weren’t clear, and should be specified and made part of the RUS record.
Cardinal-Hickory Creek and the under-construction Badger-Coulee transmission lines are MISO’s (Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.) MVP project “five” revealed five years ago in MISO’s MTEEP 11 report. That was 2011, and it was “postponed” in 2016. Why the delay? MISO’s 12.38% rate of return for construction has been successfully challenged in federal court. There’s a glut of electricity where even marketing electricity cross country is not alleviating the industry’s overproduction. MISO’s MVP economic modeling no longer hold under current scenarios. And maybe the delay is that and more!
Now’s the time to tell RUS to consider the economics, need and causes of delay in its financing decision. If delay is right for the project developers, RUS should also delay, and put financing on hold.
Carol A. Overland, Esq.
Red Wing, MN
December 6th, 2016
Slow evening at Rural Utilities Service’s scoping meeting for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Cardinal – Hickory Creek transmission project. RUS is involved because Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) plans to hold a 9% undivided interest in the project, and are looking to RUS to provide the funding. RUS held two more meetings, following on prior meetings October 31 and November 1 & 2, because their notice for those meetings went out a day late, so another Notice went out:
Where’s my prior post on these meetings? It’s gone! Here’s the dates and locations (click for larger version) — the last one is tomorrow in Barneveld, Wisconsin:
So to make quick work of it, this is cut and pasted from the RUS Cardinal Hickory Creek page:
Alternatives Evaluation Study (July 2016)
Macro-Corridor Study (September 2016)
Alternative Crossings Analysis (April 2016)
- ACA Table of Contents
- ACA Main Report Chapters 1-5
- ACA Main Report-Chapter 6-References
- ACA Appendices
I had a quick chat with Dennis Rankin who’s in charge of the environmental review on this and the Dairyland Q-1 South projects, and had a few quick things to register, particularly that ATC has announced that the project is delayed:
I had this article and a few comments to add tonight, and will file more detailed comments before the deadline — now January 6, 2017.
On the way in, there was new transmission marching across the countryside, so ugly:
And look how close to this house in New Vienna, right up near the garage, and not far from the house either — this line cut right through the middle of town:
But all in all, it was a beautiful day for a drive today!
December 4th, 2016
But what’s really happening with the permit? No direct statement from Army Corps yet.
UPDATE: From U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
Now, from Dept. of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell:
It looks like what’s happening is that the ACoE is denying the permit for the route over the river and through sacred Indian lands, and will be looking for a reroute and doing an Environmental Impact Statement. ABC News states that pretty clearly below. It’ll be in “stick it there” mode, with the ACoE looking for somewhere to put it! I’ve been looking and looking, don’t see anything from ACoE directly.
Administration orders review of Dakota Access Pipeline easement (this version most closely states what I’m guessing is going on)
November 13th, 2016
After this election, there are so many things to be concerned about, so many reasons to be utterly horrified… a Muslim database, Trump’s fraud trial to begin November 28th, promise of mass deportations, sharp increase in hate crimes, assaults and threats on the street and in the schools (and online, oh my!). Trump’s “100 Days” plan was out in October, and has many points, full of words to decode, including a ‘clean coal’ reference, showing he’s clueless, just clueless:
In the 2nd and 3rd debate, Trump used those two words that have deep meaning to me, “clean coal,” because of Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project here in Minnesota, and because of the NRG proposed IGCC plant in Delaware, both of which were defeated after a long protracted fight. There is no such thing as ‘clean coal.”
Coal gasification is one thing that my coal-plant designing Mechanical Engineer father and I had some bonding moments over, going over EPRI coal gasification reports from the 80s and the Mesaba application… And I had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside my father’s boss’s son, who is also an engineer, formerly with NSP/Xcel, who knew what a bad idea coal gasification is. Oh yeah, we who fought these projects have learned a lot about coal gasification, “carbon capture and storage,” and will not go there again (see Legalectric and CAMP – Citizens Against the Mesaba Project sites for more info). We know it doesn’t work. And experience with the few projects that did go forward, what a mess, cost overruns beyond the wildest SWAG estimate, inability to get the plant running… Trump, don’t even think about it:
IGCC, coal gasification, is nothing new. And despite its long history, it’s a history of failure, failure to live up to promises, failure to operate as a workable technology, and failure to produce electricity at a marketable cost, failure to produce electricity at all! On top of that, it’s often touted as being available with “CO2 capture and storage” which it is not. That’s a flat out lie. Check this old Legalectric post:
A key to this promotion is massive subsidies from state and federal sources, and selection of locations desperate for economic jump-start, so desperate that they’ll bite on a project this absurd, places like Minnesota’s Iron Range, or southern Indiana, or Mississippi. The financing scam was put together at Harvard, and this blueprint has been used for all of these IGCC projects:
That, coupled with massive payments to “environmental” organizations to promote coal gasification, and they were off to the races.
VP-elect Mike Pence should know all about coal gasification, he’s from Indiana. Indiana is coal generation central, and has had a couple of IGCC projects planned, construction started, and built. Indiana’s Wabash Valley plant is a perfect example, a small IGCC plant that was built, and after it was “completed,” took 22 on-site engineers to keep it running, now and then, at a greatly reduced capacity.
Wabash River Final Technical Report (it was “routinely” in violation of its water permit for selenium, cyanide and arsenic)
When they tried to sell the Wabash Valley plant recently, of course no one wanted it:
And another Indiana plant, with huge cost overruns that never started operating:
And then there’s Edwardsport IGCC plant, also in Indiana, what a disaster:
In the new agreement, Duke Energy agrees not to charge customers for $87.5 million of the operating costs of the Edwardsport plant, $2.5 million more than the original agreement.
And note that problems with Edwardsport tie in to similar problems with the Kemper IGCC plant in Mississippi:
Yes, in Mississippi, the Kemper IGCC plant is proving to be a problem, and yes, folks, note the Obama promotion of IGCC — after all, Obama is from Illinois, a coal state, and had lots of support from coal lobbyists. Check this detailed NY Times article:
Piles of Dirty Secrets Behind a Model “Clean Coal’ project: Mississippi project, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate plan, has been plagued by problems that managers tried to conceal, and by cost overruns and questions of who will pay.
The sense of hope is fading fast, however. The Kemper coal plant is more than two years behind schedule and more than $4 billion over its initial budget, $2.4 billion, and it is still not operational.
The plant and its owner, Southern Company, are the focus of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, and ratepayers, alleging fraud, are suing the company. Members of Congress have described the project as more boondoggle than boon. The mismanagement is particularly egregious, they say, given the urgent need to rein in the largest source of dangerous emissions around the world: coal plants.
Trump, just don’t.