plant-blog480

Tomorrow the House Jobs Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee will take up HF 341, see also SF 237, to provide an exemption from Certificate of Need for natural gas plants that sell power into the MISO market.

SAY WHAT?!?!?!

The Power Plant Siting Act, specifically Minn. Stat. 216E.04, Subd. 2(2) already gives natural gas plants a free ride by allowing “alternate review,” which is “review lite.”  For example, the “Simon Says” 325 MW natural gas plant that had been planned for Waseca would have been built.  The 700-800 MW Sunrise River Station by the Chisago sub would have been built.  WHY?  Should a community be subject to living with a HUGE natural gas plant without regulation?  Nope, no way, no how.  Plus who will pay for the transmission interconnection, and how will that be regulated, both “need” and routing… and then there’s eminent domain!  What’s the impact on Minnesota utilities and their service territory?

The biggest problem?  If it’s not regulated by the PUC, who handles it?  Counties.  What county has the expertise or resources to review and permit a power plant?  Most likely it’s as in Freeborn County, where they cut and pasted the project APPLICATION and called it an EIS!  Really!  Or look at Chisago County and the Sunrise River natural gas plant.  That’s not something that should be thrown at a local government.

Here are the Authors’ emails — contact them today:

rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mnrep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.dave.baker@house.mn, rep.marion.oneill@house.mn

Here are the Committee member emails — contact them today:

rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn, rep.dave.baker@house.mn, rep.karen.clark@house.mn, rep.dan.fabian@house.mn, rep.bob.gunther@house.mn, rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn, rep.jason.isaacson@house.mn, rep.sheldon.johnson@house.mn, rep.bob.loonan@house.mn, rep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.jim.newberger@house.mn, rep.marion.oneill@house.mn, rep.peggy.scott@house.mn, rep.erik.simonson@house.mn, rep.dennis.smith@house.mn, rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mn, rep.bob.vogel@house.mn, rep.jean.wagenius@house.mn, rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn

Please let them know how important it is that we continue to regulate natural gas plants.  A power plants is large, expensive infrastructure with large, costly impacts, and should only be built when and where needed, after a full Certificate of Need and Siting review.

Here’s an example of how it went in Waseca when they tried to bootstrap a larger plant onto an already approve very small plant — short version?  It didn’t go:

Blooming Grove Township — Sen. Dick Day shows his true colors

And in Chisago County where they tried to ram through a HUGE plant on the Sunrise River and pull out large amounts of water — short version?  It didn’t go:

LS Power’s Sunrise River plant voted DOWN!

Lent Twp voters say NO! to LS Power

LS Power’s Sunrise River Energy in the news

Report on Monday Chisago meeting

500+ give LS Power a piece of their mind

What about the Mesaba Project which has a site permit good until 2019, and which couldn’t demonstrate either “need” or that it would provide reasonably priced electricity — under this bill, a large natural gas plant could go up on that site without any further review!  More info HERE on Mesaba Project!

That’s what communities think of having a natural gas plant using their water, making noise, being lit up 24/7, and all for the profit of some absentee corporate owner:  Thanks, but NO THANKS!

Here’s the agenda for tomorrow:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12:45 PM

Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Pat Garofalo
Agenda:
Overview of natural gas issues in Minnesota.If you wish to testify on HF341, please contact Committee Legislative Assistant, Jonathan Fortner, at jonathan.fortner@house.mn.
Bills:
HF341 – (Swedzinski): Requirement to obtain certificate of need prior to construction of a natural gas plant generating electricity that is exported from the state eliminated.
Here’s the full text of HF 341:
HF341HF341_2

gasification_schematic

Thanks to Charlotte for finding this.  My Google Alerts disappeared and now I’m the last to know!

For the Excelsior’s Mesaba Project, the carbon capture and storage was a farce, the project plan took it to the PLANT GATE, and a small percentage of it at that.  A scam:

IGCC – Pipedreams of Green and Clean

And McClatchyDC says the POTUS is taking a “step back” from coal gasification.  ‘Bout time for this coal state Pres. to admit the obvious reality that this is NOT “the way forward for coal.”

The White House walks away from clean coal

How can they write a headline like that and not put the quotes around “clean coal.”

WVaBakkenBoom

STOP SHIPPING NOW!  DO NOT SHIP ONE MORE DROP OF BAKKEN CRUDE UNTIL IT’S DEGASIFIED.  NOT ONE DROP, BY RAIL, BY PIPELINE, BY TANKER TRUCK, BY BARGE, NOT ONE DROP UNTIL IT’S DEGASIFIED!

News Reports:

Governor declares state of emergency after oil train derails, sets house ablaze

West Virginia Train Derailment Sends Oil Tanker Into River

Crude Oil Train Derails in Fayette County, WV

WCHS Updates

From Bakken.com: CSX oil train derails in W. Virginia, 14 cars on fire

It’s happened again, another Bakken BOOM! train derailment and explosion.  And where did the wreck happen?  BOOMER BOTTOM, West Virginia… really!  At least 14 cars are reported derailed, one went into a  home and blew up, destroying the home.  Water supply is drawn from the river and has been shut off, oil on the river is burning. Route 61 has been shut off at the Montgomery bridge.  Power is off because flames melted powerlines.   Two towns evacuated, one person hospitalized so far, no deaths reported yet.

Boomer

How many explosions; how many homes, businesses, riverbanks must be burned and leveled; how many people must die before the DOT puts its foot down?  DEGASIFY!  How long are we going to take this?

This is not rocket science.  Bakken oil is exceedingly, dangerously volatile, much more so that typical crude.  It MUST be degasified before it is transported by any means, by pipeline, by rail, by truck, NO, DO NOT SHIP, it’s an explosion waiting to happen.

Here’s the DOT letter regarding degasifying:

1_2_14 DOT Rail_Safety_Alert

I hope you’re as pissed off about this as I am — and remember, it’s better to be pissed off than pissed on.  Please take a few seconds and dash off a note to our Senators and Representatives to demand that Bakken crude be degasified before it’s shipped, starting NOW!

Send a simple message to all federal Senators and Representatives:

Shipping this Bakken oil without degasifying it first is TOO DANGEROUS.  IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM on shipments of Bakken oil, not one drop to be shipped until it is degasified, whether by rail, pipeline, truck tanker, or barge, not one drop moves until its degasified.

In Minnesota:

EMAIL SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR

EMAIL SEN. AL FRANKEN

CongressCritters HERE. 

Minnesota Representatives — name is linked to their site:

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Walz, Timothy J. D 1034 LHOB 202-225-2472 Agriculture
Armed Services
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Kline, John R 2439 RHOB 202-225-2271 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
3 Paulsen, Erik R 127 CHOB 202-225-2871 Ways and Means
4 McCollum, Betty D 2256 RHOB 202-225-6631 Appropriations
5 Ellison, Keith D 2263 RHOB 202-225-4755 Financial Services
6 Emmer, Tom R 503 CHOB 202-225-2331 Agriculture
Foreign Affairs
7 Peterson, Collin C. D 2204 RHOB 202-225-2165 Agriculture
8 Nolan, Rick D 2366 RHOB 202-225-6211 Agriculture
Transportation

Here’s the quick message I sent — so simple:

Another Bakken BOOM! train has exploded in West Virginia.  These trains go through Minnesota every day, here in Red Wing every day, and look what happens!  They explode.   All Bakken crude must be degasified before shipment by ANY means.  Please get on this today and introduce a bill requiring degasificaiton of Bakken crude before shipment.

Take a few minutes and just do it.  NOW!

And in the meantime, here’s an insurance industry take:

‘Degassing’ North Dakota Crude Before Shipping Among Safety Ideas

e21 Planning Meeting announced

February 13th, 2015

manurespreader2
 Hot off the press — Notice of a Commission Planning Meeting:

Notice_20152-107344-01

The meeting details:

2:00 p.m. on Thursday February 26, 2015

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

121 – 7th Place East, Suite 350, Large Hearing Room

St. Paul, MN  55101

Here we go — the PUC has announced a “planning meeting” for this e21 Initiative based on the filing of Xcel Energy last month. What filing?  Well, this one:

Letter & e21 Initiative Report_201412-105629-01

Here’s what the PUC says they’re going to do at that meeting:

e21CommissionplanWhy is the Commission going along with this to the extent that they are?  Well, they do have connections, and for sure PUC Commissione Nancy Lange, who is listed as Advisory Committee on the Citizens League e21 promotional group, should NOT be participating at the Commission, in discussions or by voting (see Appendix B, p. 1, of the Citizens League Policy Framework to Optimize Efficiency of the Electrical Energy System_Phase2):

AdvisoryCommitteeCitizen’s League’s mighty presumptuous charge from this report, to recommend e21 and draft legislation!!!

CitizenLeagueCharge Charge-to-Electrical-Energy-Phase-3

And remember, Xcel, in its letter they asked the Public Utilities Commission for a meeting:

e21requestThroughout this e21 filing they say, repeatedly, that this is a “package,” and the consensus depends on this being a “package,” which is reminiscent of the “it’s a deal, a package deal, and it’s a good deal” of the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell.  We saw how that “good deal” worked, how it worked for the public, and who it was “a good deal” for.  Disgusting…

But that big red flag is not all — they also asked that no Comment Period be scheduled:

Thus, we respectfully request that the Commission delay initiating a comment period to allow for additional collaboration prior to the start of a formal proceeding.

Really!  Because clearly some stakeholders are more stakeholders than others, I filed a Petition for Intervention to get a foot in the door and notice of festivities:

Legalectric-Intervention

So if you’re wondering what all this means, that it’s a little obfuscated between the lines, come on down to the Public Utilities Commission Planning Session.  If you want to make comments either file them or bring written ones to hand out, because there’s no set time for public comments:

2:00 p.m. on Thursday February 26, 2015

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

121 – 7th Place East, Suite 350, Large Hearing Room

St. Paul, MN  55101

20150210_093435

Today is the Xcel Energy “stakeholder” meeting for “stakeholders” at the PUC.  For the IRP docket, CLICK HERE and search for PUC Docket 15-21.

20150210_093508

Here are their scenarios:

20150210_103218[1]

Regulatory process and timeline.  January 2 filing, 900 pages, and today between that filing and March 16, 2015 filing.  That March 16 filing will be next piece and will complete filing of plan to Commission, then forward with Information Requests and stakeholder meetings, and then PUC decision within next year or so, depending on what’s happening in stakeholder process.  Three components:

1) CAPCON Order (capacity acquisition process)

  • Aurora Solar
  • Calpine combine cycle expension
  • Black Dog 6 Natural gas

2) Increase small solar forecast

3) Sherco Retirement Scenario

  • Sherco 1 & 2 retirement in 2020
  • Sherco 1 retirement in 2020, Sherco 2 retirement in 2023 (based on capacity acquisition process, retirement, etc. scheduling)

For questions about the IRP, contact Jim Alders  james.r.alders@xcelenergy.com

This is on the heels of last night’s meeting of “Citizens League Electric Energy” group.  From the Citizens League site:

And notes from committee meetings:

The January 26 meeting isn’t posted, but I scanned them in and will post later.  They had a charge of the “committee” in the Phase 2 Report to support Xcel Energy’s “e21 Initiative” below:

Charge-to-Electrical-Energy-Phase-3

That charge contained this specific direction:

CitizenLeagueChargeReally, this is what it says:

… the Citizens League Study Committee will be asked to draft both a statement and legislation to direct the Public Utilities [Commission] to convene this public dialogue with the support of external stakeholder efforts.

So we shouldn’t have been surprised…  That charge was pretty much fulfilled and presented to the group last night, BUT the good news is that in addition to Alan and my objections to that endorsement of the “e21 Initiative,” there were several long-time Citizens League members who objected to the way that this was done and the endorsement of the e21 Initiative.  (I’ll insert the draft when I get back)

Short version, the Draft was soundly rejected.  WHEW!

And for those concerned about this e21 Initiative, Intervene!!! Yes, Citizen’s League, that’s something YOU can do!

Just filed Petition for Intervention in Xcel’s e21 Docket

February 4th, 2015