Clean Coal Carolers

November 15th, 2015

Someone posted the Minion Carolers, and, well, though I don’t need to get too wrapped up in these things because I AM a Christmas Carol, I remembered this from a few years back and found one (weren’t there more?_ and want to capture it while the spirit moves me:



Notice of the Power Plant Siting and Transmission Line Routing Program Annual Hearing

Issued: November 6, 2015

In the Matter of the 2015 Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing

Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Docket Number: E999/M-15-785

Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) Docket Number: 60-2500-32901

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Time: 9:30 a.m.

Location: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Large Hearing Room, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, Saint Paul, MN 55101

Bad weather? Find out if a meeting is canceled. Call (toll-free) 1-855-731-6208 or 651-201-2213 or visit

Hearing Description

The annual hearing is required by Minnesota Statute § 216E.07, which provides that:

Thecommission shall hold an annual public hearing at a time and place prescribed by rule in order to afford interested persons an opportunity to be heard regarding any matters relating to the siting of large electric generating power plants and routing of high-voltage transmission lines. At the meeting, the commission shall advise the public of the permits issued by the commission in the past year….

Note – No decisions about specific projects are made at the annual hearing.

Public Hearing Information

  • Public hearings start on time.
  • Arrive a few minutes early so you have time to sign in, pick up materials, and find a seat.
  • Administrative Law Judge James LaFave will preside over the hearing.
  • Public Utilities Commission and Department of Commerce staff members are available to answer questions about the Power Plant Siting Act processes and the projects.
  • You may add verbal comments, written comments, or both into the record.
  • Learn more about participating at a public hearing at
  • Judge LaFave will use information gathered at the public hearing and during the comment period to write a summary report for the Commission

Submit Comments

Topics for Public Comment:

  • Any matters related to the site permit process for large electric generating power plants and routing of high-voltage transmission lines.

Comment Period: November 6, 2015 through January 5, 2016 at 4:30pm.

  • Comments must be received by 4:30pm on the close date
  • Comments received after comment period closes may not be considered

Online Visit, select Speak Up!, find this docket (15-785), and add your comments to the discussion.

If you wish to include an exhibit, map or other attachment, please send your comments via eFiling (see below) or U.S. Mail.

Please include the Commission’s docket number in all communications.

Filing Requirements: Utilities and state agencies are required to file documents using the Commission’s electronic filing system (eFiling). All parties, participants and interested persons are encouraged to use eFiling:, select eFiling, and follow the prompts.

Important Comments will be made available to the public via the Public Utilities Commission’s website, except in limited circumstances consistent with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. The Commission does not edit or delete personal identifying information from submissions.

Hearing Agenda

I. Introductions
II.Overview of Programs
A. Public Utilities Commission – Facilities Permitting and Public Advisor
B. Department of Commerce – Energy Facilities Permitting Unit
C. Role of Other Agencies
III. Projects Reviewed
A. Projects Permitted in 2015
B. Pending and Anticipated Projects
C. Electric Facilities Subject to Power Plant Siting Act
1. Generating Plants
2. Transmission Lines
IV. Public Questions and Testimony
V. Adjourn

How to Learn More

Subscribe to the Docket: Subscribe to receive email notifications when new documents are filed. Note – subscribing may result in a large number of emails.

  2. Select Subscribe to a Docket
  3. Type your email address
  4. For Type of Subscription, select Docket Number
  5. For Docket Number, select 15 in the first box, type 785 in the second box
  6. Select Add to List
  7. Select Save

Full Case Record: See all documents filed in this docket via the Commission’s website –, select Search eDockets, enter the year (15) and the docket number (785), select Search.

Project Mailing Lists: Sign up to receive notices and opportunities to participate in other dockets relating to specific projects in which you are interested (meetings, comment periods, etc.). Contact or 651-201-2234 with the docket number, your name, mailing address and email address.

Minnesota Statutes and Rules: The hearing is being conducted according to Minnesota Statute 216E.07. Minnesota Statutes are available at

Project Contacts

Public Utilities Commission Public Advisor

Tracy Smetana –, 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782

Adam-Rogers-News8000-of-Alma-DerailmentPhoto from

And the good news is that it’s NOT Bakken BOOM! oil, only denatured alcohol and some empty car cars.  The evacuation has been lifted and people are returning.  The other good news is that this means they won’t be shipping on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi anytime soon, with the associated bad news that then they’ll be shipping through Red Wing more often.

Some good photos here:

NOTE: There’s a Minneapolis CARS message below regarding the November 10th Mpls. City Council meeting.

From News8000:

Emergency crews on scene of 32-car train derailment north of Alma

From KSTP 5:

Train Derails in Wisconsin, Prompting Voluntary Evacuation


Here’s the Minneapolis CARS (Citizens Acting for Rail Safety) message:

Nov 10th -- Attention Minneapolis residents: Support 
a Strong Rail Safety Resolution!

Hello CARS network, as we reported last month, the 
City of Minneapolis is preparing a rail safety 
resolution that will come before the Transportation 
and Public Works committee on November 10th. We are 
encouraged from conversations with City Council 
members that the resolution will be a great first 
step forward and that the resolution is likely to 
pass the committee and the City Council. There is 
also understanding that this will be a living 
document that will need updating as more information 
is available. It is important that the City Council 
hear from us to know that the community is supportive 
of this important work. 

There are two ways you can do this:

1) Mark your calendars to attend the Minneapolis City 
Council Transportation & Public Works Committee meeting 
next Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 9:30 am in the Council 
Chamber, Room 317 of City Hall. If you are able to 
attend, please let us know by replying to this email. 
Comments will not be allowed, but your presence will be 
important. Please also plan to stay for a brief press 
conference that is being organized for approximately 
11:30 am. As the media reports this important success, 
it is important that we have as many people in attendance 
as possible showing community support.

2) Contact your Minneapolis City Council member to 
thank them for supporting a strong rail safety 
resolution. Call or Email them with some version of 
the following message, sharing your own personal 
story of living near the rails if you are willing.

I am concerned about the risks that freight trains 
carrying crude oil, ethanol and other hazardous 
materials pose to my neighborhood. I thank the City 
for its leadership in supporting a strong Rail Safety 
Resolution that will protect Minneapolis.

Ward 1 - - (612)673-2201
Ward 2 - - (612)673-2202
Ward 3 - - (612)673-2203
Ward 4 - - (612)673-2204
Ward 5 - - (612)673-2205
Ward 6 - - (612)673-2206
Ward 7 - - (612)673-2207
Ward 8 - - (612)673-2208
Ward 9 - - (612)673-2209
Ward 10 - - (612)673-2210
Ward 11 - - (612)673-2211
Ward 12 - - (612)673-2212
Ward 13 - - (612)673-2213

Cars Contact Info:

Cathy Velasquez Eberhart
Citizens Acting for Rail Safety - Twin Cities

on Facebook at:



Xcel’s cost of electricity is down.  Yet they want more money from us, 9.8% over the next 3 years, with the average residential customer’s 675 kW/hr bill to go up $11 a month.  WHAT?

Meanwhile, last year at the legislature, the biggest of the big customers got a special rate category and special lower rates.  WHAT?

The above graph is from Chuck Burdick’s testimony — after dealing with him in the Goodhue Wind case, I couldn’t resist checking out his testimony (Application, 2A2 – MYRP).

So if Xcel Energy was authorized a certain ROE, and only earned a much lesser ROE, does that mean we should make up the difference?  Also from Burdick’s testimony:

Slow2NoGrowthWere this “free market” the response would be that the company should contract, that there are too many cooks in that kitchen, that the capital expenses not for our use, such as this big transmission build-out, should not occur, and we should not have to pay for them.

Let’s take a look at the drivers, where they’re running short — do we want to pay for this?  From the Application 1:


The initial filing in this new rate case is there for the reading, dig in, I’m sure there’s something you’ll enjoy.

Just go HERE TO PUC’S SEARCH DOCKETS PAGE and search for PUC docket 15-826, opened today.

In the STrib today:

Xcel seeks 9.8 percent rate hike in Minnesota over three years


WHAT!?!?!  Yes… Really… after the delightful decision from the Appellate Court requiring an Environmental Impact Statement, telling the Public Utilities Commission that an EIS must be completed before a Certificate of Need can be issue, the Applicants dropped  Petition.  Read this whale-eye inducing filing from North Dakota Pipeline Company, LLC (a/k/a Enbridge) hot off the press:

North Dakota Pipeline Company _ Petition for Rejoinder and Comment Period 20159-114150-03

Here’s the short version:


Once more with feeling, here’s the Appellate Court’s decision:


And the bottom line:


So from this order of the Appellate Court “to complete an EIS” the Applicant now asks for the “need” docket and “routing” docket to be brought back together and to use the “Comparative Environmental Analysis” that the Appellate Court says isn’t sufficient.  Yes, that what they’re saying:


What planet is North Dakota Pipeline Company living on?  Earth to Mars!!!!!  A “CEA” is not sufficient.  MEPA requires an EIS.  The court told the Public Utilities Commission to complete an EIS.  The Court did NOT say to go ahead with a “CEA.”

Not too long ago, Lisa Agrimonti sent around notice that she had moved over to Fredrickson & Byron.  $50 says that she’ll be filing Notice of Appearance for this docket!