December 5th, 2013
URGENT — MIA: All the big “environmental” groups — the Minnesota Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Fresh Energy, Izaak Walton League, Clean Water Action. ALL were no-shows!
Greetings from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission!
Yesterday was a long, long day, out the door just after 8 a.m. to get through the woods and over the river to the Rulemaking Advisory Committee for Minn. R. Ch. 7849 & 7850. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Then back, over the river and through the woods, with just a couple hours to study and get out the door and over the river and through the traffic jam to Minnetonka (how convenient) for an evening with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:
Here’s Alan Muller doing his thing at the “meeting” that wasn’t a “hearing.”
Here’s the NRC page that has their info on this:
And here’s the actual rule that’s proposed — it took a lot of digging to find it and I needed help, but here it is:
And here are the full documents for comment, the GEIS is very strange:
And note the Prairie Island Indian Community’s role in this case that resulted in the vacating of the Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule, with THREE reps showing up last night:
What’s strangest about this rulemaking is the way this is framed, they backwards engineered it “to support the rule.” Look at how “Issue 3″ is framed below, and also “Issue 1″ (click for a larger version).
No, that’s not how you do it folks. You do the GEIS and then you find out what it says. Maybe it supports the rule, maybe it doesn’t, it is what it is. But nooooooooo, that’s not how they do things at the NRC.
We have until December 20, 2013 to send comments to:
• Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301–415–1677.
• Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301–415–1101.
• Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
• Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301–415–1677.
I put a few choice things in the record, because the idea they can safely store nuclear waste indefinitely, and until a “repository” is built, well…. dream on, when might that happen? And Dog help us if it does… Confidence? NO!
And here’s Alan at the Sierra Club table, Pam Mackey-Taylor the IOWA Sierra Club. And John LaForge/Nukewatch was there too. It was disturbing, but not surprising that not one of the big funded “environmental” groups showed up last night, and it says a lot about Xcel’s ability to buy them off. Iowa Sierra Club’s Wally Taylor was the one testifying… not North Star Chapter, no Clean Water Action, no Fresh Energy, no Izaak Walton League (but we know how much Bill Grant loves nuclear), no Audubon. No, no, no, no, not there. Absent, one and all.
Note the cops in the background — the NRC found it necessary to bring in police protection, two uniformed and I think one not in uniform. What are they afraid of?
Home a couple of minutes before midnight… rulemaking taking over a day.
November 14th, 2013
DOH! It’s worth it just for this sentence:
Markets do not automatically provide competitive and efficient outcomes.
Here it is, with the full all-in-one option or separate sections:
Here’s the full version: 2013 3Q PJM State of the Market Report
And the short version, oh, how I love it when this happens:
The market design should permit market prices to reflect underlying supply and demand fundamentals. Significant factors that result in capacity market prices failing to reflect fundamentals should be addressed, including better LDA definitions, the effectiveness of the transmission interconnection queueprocess, the 2.5 percent reduction in demand that suppresses market prices, the continued inclusion of inferior demand side products that also suppress market prices and the role of imports.
Got that: … the 2.5 percent reduction in demand that suppresses market prices…
Gee, sounds like we ought to pay to build some more power plants and transmission lines…
November 3rd, 2013
Years ago, five years ago now, Rep. Bill Hilty, chair of the House Energy Committee, and practitioner of the “Hilty Jilty” when he didn’t want me to testify, started out the legislative session not with testimony of agency heads about their view of what was needed, but with a presentation, a several meetings long LONG presentation, that things were different, and we needed to be clear about the distinction between “growth” and “prosperity.” Hilty also promoted a series of meetings across the state about “Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty.” It was a great concept, really looking at what we mean with all this talk of “expansion.” This was back in 2008… during the crash. He was on top of this, but it never went further than those meetings.
Yeah, that’s a good idea to be addressing these issues… whatever happened? How were we distracted?
The concept isn’t as dead as the discussion, and today, a Commentary in the STrib:
… with a focus of “Grow-or-die is the only way forward.” They’re trying to prop up the notion that up, up, up is where we have to go. It’s so contrary to obvious experience. Have we learned nothing?
I’ve been reading this book that looks at the origin of that “grow or die” concept, how growth became accepted as necessary, with little concern or awareness of the impacts of that growth. Here I thought back in 2008 that Rep. Hilty was going to bring some sanity to the legislature and shift the focus to “prosperity” and not “growth,” recognizing the difference, but nooooooooo… it didn’t take hold. Now here we are, the crash wasn’t a little temporary blip, it’s the “new normal,” and we’re spinning our wheels. Thus this little treasure found in someone’s free pile at a garage sale is just what the doctor ordered!
It’s a cute little book, and takes a bit too long going in circles telling the story, but it’s a good read, a reassuring read, tracing the notion of “economic growth” as a necessity, and the belief that the world is ours to take and strip of its resources forever, all the way back to Hegel and focusing on the utopian John Adolphus Etzler, whose “fantasy has become our reality and that we continue to live by some of the same economic assumptions that he embraced,” … “that the transfer of matter from the earth’s environments into the economy is not bounded by any limitation of those environments and that energy for powering our cars and iPods will always exist,” conflating growth with progress, doing what Hilty attempted back in 2008, to get us off the “growth” kick into something more sustainable.
The obsolete world view, per Stoll:
From that time forward, economic growth became conflated with American influence abroad and the capacity of politicians to maintain affluence at home…
The result was an oddly plausible utopia: cheap energy and a land regime that traced indelible patterns across the continent by removing American Indians and eradicating wildlife, leading to a soaring human population that would soon live by consuming manufactured products, all financed by joint-stock companies and protected by a government that encouraged growth.
… (and citing and quoting Thomas Ewbank):
“Who can inform us where the terminus is to be?” he asked. “No one; for there is nothing in ourselves, nor in the earth’s resources, to point out there the last step is to land us … It is a rational belief that there are no limits to [man's] advancement, as there appear to be one to the agents of it nor to his power over them.” Coal got him even more excited: “A first element of progress for all time, it is preposterous to suppose the supplies of coal can ever be exhausted or even become scarce.” Preposterous, he said, because it formed continually in “the depths of our oceans,” faster than people can burn it. … “The proposition is, that unlimited amounts of force are to be drawn out of inert matter.”
Oh my… Yup, that pretty much sums up this mess we’re in. We cannot go on… What are we going to do about it? In a very concrete example, I’m thinking about Xcel Energy’s forecasts on which the CapX 2020 transmission buildout is based, 2.49% annually, and it’s nothing close, far enough off that those forecasters should be fired, at best. The 2013 demand for Xcel Energy is now forecast at about -1.2%. That’s a 3.62% decrease from the earlier forecast. Jobs, jobs, jobs, grow, grow, grow, we cannot keep doing this forever, we cannot keep up this “Great Delusion,” and folks, worse, we’re clearly NOT doing it.
Let’s start focusing on prosperity. Because if we can’t get a handle on that, and refocus our efforts, we’re going to keep headed south. We’ve had how many years of a rude awakening?
September 30th, 2013
Yeah, I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but the minutes from the last Public Utilities Commission Rulemaking Committee and the latest rule draft update came out what, a month ago??? Naaaah, more like three weeks, but still… And the next Committee meeting is Wednesday.
Who cares about the rules? Who cares about Minn. R. Ch. 7849? Well, we all should because it’s the way the Commission determines, in this case, whether a particular proposed power plant or transmission line is “needed” or not. It lays out what the applicant must put into an application, it sets the parameters of initial notice for the project generally and the different types of notice as the project moves through the morass that is regulation.
Certificate of Need is the “IF” stage, IF a project will go forward, and not “WHERE” which comes after it’s determined that it’s needed (rightly or wrongly). If a project gets a Certificate of Need, then the next question is WHERE. These rules address forecasts and what types are necessary and how current, if an applicant should be exempted from any of the rules based on the type of project or situation, the (nominal) environmental review in an “Environmental Report,” what avenues are open for public participation such as meetings and public hearings, whether you can question witnesses at the hearings, blah blah… it’s arcane, it might be boring, but it’s what we’ve got to deal with. You can find really painful examples of how the rules do and don’t work here and at www.nocapx2020.info. Please weigh in!
Rulemaking Advisory Committee
9-11 a.m. — Wednesday, October 2, 2013
PUC Building Basement (follow signs)
121 East 7th Place
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101
This is about Minn. R. Ch. 7849, the rules covering Certificate of Need.
From the PUC:
We’re getting pretty far along, so this would be a good time to get comments in on the September 10 Draft — QUICK before they issue a formal draft and it’s set in stone.
September 27th, 2013
Join us at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission!
9:30 a.m. on October 10, 2013
PUC Agenda Meeting
121 – 7th Place East, 3rd Floor Mtg Rm
St. Paul, MN 55101
The end of the Goodhue Wind Project… notice just came out for the PUC’s Agenda Meeting on October 10, 2013:
And here’s the good news: