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                Photo by Marie McNamara

Beginning of review by USFWS of impacts of take permits for wind projects (where death is presumed and project is given permit despite protected species kills).  SPREAD THE WORD!

Just in from USFWS:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hosts Public Information Meetings in Eight Midwest States

for Regional Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is inviting public input as it develops an environmental impact statement on the potential impacts of issuing incidental take permits for covered species under the draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan.

Public meetings will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time at the following locations:

  • July 13 – Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elliot Recreation Center, 1000 E. 14th St. 55404
  • July 14 – Madison, Wisconsin. Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Drive, 53704
  • July 15 – Ames, Iowa.  Iowa State Memorial Union, Campanile Room, 2229 Lincoln Way, 50011
  • July 16 – Columbia, Missouri. Battle High School Commons, 7575 E. St. Charles Road, 65202
  • July 20 – Lansing, Michigan. Letts Community Center Gymnasium, 1220 W. Kalamazoo Street 48915
  • July 21 – Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Downtown High School Commons,364 South 4th Street 43215
  • July 22 – Indianapolis, Indiana. World Sports Park Ballroom, 1313 South Post Road, 46239
  • July 23 – Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois Wesleyan University, Memorial Center, Young Main Lounge, 104 E. University Avenue, 61701

The first hour of each meeting will be an informal open house, followed by a brief presentation at approximately 6:00 p.m.  After the presentation, the informal open house will resume.

The Service also will host an online public meeting on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at 1 p.m. CT.  To participate, you can call a toll-free number and join a web conference:

·         Log on to http://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=741848583&p=&t=c  to view a Service presentation about the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan and scoping for the Environmental Impact Statement.

·         To listen to the presentation and ask questions, call toll-free 1-888-324-7813. Enter passcode 9116767# to join the call.

For more information on this meeting, go to http://www.midwestwindenergyhcpeis.org

The draft plan is being prepared by the Service and their planning partners, including state wildlife agencies for seven of the eight states within the plan area, the American Wind Energy Association, a consortium of wind energy companies and The Conservation Fund.  States within the plan area include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The plan addresses incidental take of eight species that may be injured or killed at wind turbine facilities. The covered species include Indiana bat, northern long-eared bat, Kirtland’s warbler, Great Lakes and northern Great Plains populations of the piping plover, and least tern, all listed under the Endangered Species Act. Also covered are the bald eagle, protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the little brown bat, a species of concern.

Habitat conservation plans are agreements between a private landowner or a non-federal company or group and the Service, allowing permit applicants to undertake otherwise lawful activities on their property that may result in the incidental death, injury or harassment of covered species; the applicant agrees to conservation measures designed to minimize and mitigate the impact of those actions.

Individuals unable to attend the meetings may submit comments and materials through August 11, 2015, by any of the following methods:

U.S. Mail:

Regional Director, Attn: Rick Amidon
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services
5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437-1458 

Electronically:

Visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal:  www.regulations.gov. In the search box enter (Docket Number FWS-R3-ES-2015-0033).

More information about the draft EIS for the proposed Midwest Wind Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan can be found at http://midwestwindenergyhcpeis.org.  Information about endangered species in the Midwest can be found at www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered.

Additional opportunities for public comment during development of the environmental impact statement will be provided when the draft statement is released for public comment, which is anticipated for early spring of 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Rick Amidon (Phone: 612-713-5164 – Email: rick_amidon@fws.gov).


Kim Mitchell

Ecological Services

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
5600 American Blvd. East, Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437
612-713-5337

Kim_Mitchell@fws.gov

www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered

3Musketeers_Disney

Oh… My… DOG!  Imagine Julie Jorgensen, Dennis Egan, and Mark Andrew, all for one, and one for all!  Where does the public fit in?

3Musketeers_JulieDennisMark

I love solar, but with these three, their track records, lobbying shenanigans, and their public project and public money magnetism, I’m going to take a very careful and skeptical look.

More solar could be coming

The company, which is leasing property from area farmers, will work to have permits completed by the end of the year and plans to start construction next spring, said Dennis Egan, who has been assisting GreenMark.

“We’re looking at the configuration, but it potentially could be three separate sites,” Egan said, producing up to 15 megawatts of solar electricity combined.

Community solar gardens let local residents, businesses and other organizations purchase subscriptions. GreenMark’s projects would offer subscriptions to Xcel Energy customers.

“I am so pleased and proud to be working with GreenMark Solar to offer area businesses, institutions and residents the opportunity to purchase solar electricity at a discount without having to purchase solar panels to install on their own property,” Egan said.

GreenMark currently has a solar project under construction on top of parking ramps at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“As a state pioneer in creating substantial solar expansion, GreenMark is enthused to be offering subscriptions to our solar gardens in Goodhue County and other counties surrounding Goodhue,” said Julie Jorgensen, GreenMark Solar CEO.

The announcement comes on the heels of another potential solar garden project; earlier this month, Red Wing City Council members directed staff to work with Minnesota Community Solar on a lease for a 1-megawatt garden on city-owned property at Highways 19 and 61.

Julie Jorgensen (Julie Jorgensen CV ) was a Chief co-conspirator in the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project, thankfully now virtually defunct (discounting its zombie qualities.  For more information go to www.legalectric.org and search “Excelsior Energy” or “Mesaba Project” or “Julie Jorgensen” or “Tom Micheletti” or “boondoggle” or “coal gasification” or “carbon capture” or “sequestration” or “IRRRB” or just “IRR” or “Iron Range Resources” or “Renewable Development Fund” and of course go to the Citizens Against the Mesaba Project www.camp-site.info and settle in for a good read.  And from a little over a year ago — zillow.com says it sold, but who knows the real story:

Tom & Julie’s house is for sale  February 2nd, 2014

And this on the money they sucked out of the IRRB… how much has been written off?  And then there’s the state’s “Renewable Development Fund”   Again! Legislative Auditor on IRRRB! April 19th, 2015

And Dennis Egan, he’s front man on solar projects HERE?  In Red Wing???  Well, for sure he’s no longer ED of Minnesota Industrial Sand Council (that’s a google cache, I got a 404, “the site is crashed and should be repaired.”  It might be different by the time you see this, I’ll check tomorrow).

April Fool on April Fools Day!   April 1st, 2013

And then there’s garbologist Mark Andrew, champion of the HERC garbage burner in downtown Minneapolis.

Here’s some info about his garbage burner:

The “Burner County” resource page–resources to better understand why Hennepin County owns, and Covanta operates, the “HERC” garbage incinerator in Downtown Minneapolis, MN

At a Mayoral debate, he did an inventive Al Gore:

That didn’t phase Andrew, who reiterated his intention to install solar panels on city, park and school buildings to “set an example” for Minneapolis businesses and residents. Describing his green accomplishments on the county board, he said was the “creator” of the Midtown Greenway transit corridor, a version of history that glosses over the contributions of citizen advocates, and that he “created” the city’s recycling program.

And Mpls. garbage divides mayoral hopefuls – MPR News.  Needless to say he didn’t get the job.

And now, these three are selling solar in the Red Wing area.  What are they cooking up?  Read the fine print very carefully, and keep all the public money tied down.

three_stooges

 

Supremes on Michigan v. EPA

June 30th, 2015

Supremes_2015

Here it is, Michigan v. EPA:

Michigan v. EPA   U.S. Supreme Court File No. 14-46

Given this decision, it’s going to be hard for any agency to argue that it shouldn’t do a solid cost benefit analysis, and one that includes verification and analysis of benefits!  That’s a good thing given the outrageous benefits claims I’ve seen in transmission proceedings.  Check this part of the Order early on (I’m just going over it now):

In accordance with Executive Order, the Agency issued a “Regulatory Impact Analysis” alongside its regulation.This analysis estimated that the regulation would force power plants to bear costs of $9.6 billion per year. Id., at 9306. The Agency could not fully quantify the benefits of reducing power plants’ emissions of hazardous air pollutants; to the extent it could, it estimated that these benefits were worth $4 to $6 million per year. Ibid. The costs to power plants were thus between 1,600 and 2,400 times as great as the quantifiable benefits from reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants. The Agency continued that its regulations would have ancillary benefits—including cutting power plants’ emissions of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, substances that are not covered by the hazardous-air-pollutants program. Although the Agency’s appropriate-and-necessary finding did not rest on these ancillary effects, id., at 9320, the regulatory impact analysis took them into account, increasing the Agency’s estimate of the quantifiable benefits of its regulation to $37 to $90 billion per year, id., at 9306. EPA concedes that the regulatory impact analysis “played no role” in its appropriate-and-necessary finding. Brief for Federal Respondents 14.

Michigan v. EPA, p. 4.  The regulatory impact analysis included the information, it was in the record, but EPA says that it “played no role” in that decision.  So can’t they just reissue it, state they took that into account and used it as a basis for its decision and everyone can go home?  AAAARGH!

And here’s a highlight where I actually agree (!) with a sentence in Thomas’ Concurrence:

Statutory ambiguity thus becomes an implicit delegation of rule-making authority, and that authority is used not to find the best meaning of the text, but to formulate legally binding rules to fill in gaps based on policy judgments made by the agency rather than Congress.

Dissents, p. 3 (pdf p. 20 of 47).

 

ferclogo

After a day in the bowels of FERC’s docket system as RM15-22-000, FERC rejected the BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line Petition for Rulemaking.  It’s a binary thing, has to be either one or the other, so now it’s in the DOE’s hands.

FERC REJECTION_RM15-22-000  20150625-3025(30664807)

So, DOE, what cha gonna do?  You’ve been thinking about it, but it’s been 10 years since Section 1222 was passed.

DOE_PetitionRulemaking_Attachments_FINAL

And the grand finale of the Administrative Procedure Act, Section 553:

(e) Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

.cheeringsection

YEAAAAAA!

When filing BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma’s Petition for Rulemaking, because it doesn’t have a docket number, it’s not an existing docket, it must be filed, and then FERC staff decides whether to accept it, the next step in deciding what to do with it.  Our Petition for Rulemaking has been accepted!  Now they will have to decide what they’ll do with it!

Here’s the FERC Notice:

Acceptance for Filing ——————— The FERC Office of the Secretary has accepted the following electronic submission for filing (Acceptance for filing does not constitute approval of any application or self-certifying notice):

Accession No.: 201506165371

Docket(s) No.: RM15-22-000

Filed By: BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line: Arkansas and Oklahoma -Signed By: Carol Overland F

Filing Type: Utility Accounting Request(??)

Filing Desc: Petition for Rulemaking of Regulations for Filing Applications and Review of Transmission Line Projects under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 of BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line under RM15-22.

Submission Date/Time: 6/16/2015 2:25:40 PM

Filed Date: 6/16/2015 2:25:40 PM

Your submission is now part of the record for the above Docket(s) and available in FERC’s eLibrary system at: http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20150616-5371

If you would like to receive e-mail notification when additional documents are added to the above docket(s), you can eSubscribe by docket at: https://ferconline.ferc.gov/eSubscription.aspx

Here are the filings (each was advised of the other Petition for Rulemaking so everyone knows):

FERC_Petition for Rulemaking_Attachments_FINAL

DOE_Petition for Rulemaking_Attachments_FINAL

Note we also filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the DOE’s Office of General Counsel.  Let them argue between themselves and figure out just who is going to do it and when and get it MOVING FORWARD!  Rulemaking is long overdue, and FYI, DOE, you have no business making any decision, doing any review, without rules.