The long awaited moment has arrived — the substantive review by DOE of the Plains & Eastern UnClean Line is now public.  Remember, there are NO RULES, this is uncharted territory, they’ve not done anything like this before!

There’s a lot of stuff here — this is cut and pasted from the DOE SITE, and downloading will take a while:

Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Line – Part 2 Application

Non-NEPA Review (1222 Review): In addition to conducting a NEPA review of the proposed Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Line project, DOE will also conduct due diligence on non-NEPA factors such as the project’s technical and financial feasibility and whether the project is in the public interest. DOE will conduct a thorough review that includes making all required statutory findings and will consider all criteria listed in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as all factors included in DOE’s 2010 Request for Proposals.

In December 2014, DOE requested additional information from the applicant to supplement and update its original application. The updated Part 2 application and other documentation are now available below for a 45-day public comment period. The public comment period begins on April 28, 2015, the date the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register, and will close on June 12, 2015. DOE is accepting comments on whether the proposed project meets the statutory criteria listed in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as all factors included in DOE’s 2010 Request for Proposals. All comments submitted during either comment period will be considered in the DOE’s ultimate decision as to whether to participate in the proposed project under the Section 1222 Program. Therefore, comments submitted during the NEPA public comment period do not need to be re-submitted during the 1222 public comment period, regardless of the subject discussed in the comments.

Some appendices have been redacted to protect privileged or confidential business information.


Bill Howley died yesterday.

Bill Howley is known by anyone working in opposition to transmission projects.  Due to a transmission line proposed in his community, he learned pretty much everything there is to know about transmission, wrote about it faithfully and fearlessly for years, and became an expert on advocacy, economics and technology of all things electrical.  He’s one of the first resources people would turn to when they first learned of transmission projects.  Recently, he’d taken the position of Program Director for WV SUN.

Bill Howley’s blog, since 2008 — take a few minutes to get an idea of the depth of his work.  Here’s hoping that his family will keep this blog going in perpetuity, a memorial to his work and as a guiding light for all those who are dealing with transmission projects:

The Power Line

The View from Calhoun County

From the Hur Herald from Sunny Cal:

People’s Advocate Bill Howley of Calhoun County has died.

His life’s work was based on his favorite quote by Ghandi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

He was a well-known researcher, consultant, consumer advocate, activist, writer, and paralegal.

Howley, 62, of Red Bud Lane, Chloe, died in a vehicle accident on I-79 in Braxton County Thursday evening.

A graduate of Yale University, he and and his wife Loren Howley, Grantsville attorney, moved to Calhoun County years ago to live their lives in the country.

For several years he was a public advocate for consumer rights related to electric company abuse of consumers and published The Power Line, an on-line media outlet.

He was a leader defeating the goliath PATH electric transmission project promoted by WV’s coal fired power plants, that power would have exported to northeast urban areas, with a part of those costs being absorbed by consumers and taxpayers in West Virginia.

Howley protested the state’s taxing of deep coal that cannot be mined under 1,000 parcels of Washington District land, the Calhoun Commission taking action against the proposal, which was dropped.

He recently assumed a position as Program Director for West Virginia Sun, an organization that is helping West Virginia communities create affordable renewable power.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


The price of Garofalo is too cheap — toadying to the corporate masters.

Rep. Garofalo claimed it is not the legislature’s role to interfere in private contracts.  But in taking out the language specific to Black Oak/Getty wind, he adds this tidbit, it supposedly was added in committee “during markup” — did anyone on the committee understand? Did anyone look at this footnote to Minn. Stat. 500.30?  It’s in the 2nd Engrossment, then 3rd, and 4th which was passed yesterday with some amendments:

This is language that modifies a footnote to Minn. Stat. 500.30.  It pushes up the sunset of the 7 year limit for wind easement contracts.  And there’s nothing in here that says that it does not apply to current contracts.  Geronimo wants it because it WOULD apply, at least they’d try to make that happen!

Nope, this is not OK at all.  That’s just doing the corporation’s bidding in another way.  Thanks, thanks a lot.  If you want to keep this language in, it needs to expressly state that it has no application to existing contracts.

I wonder — did Sempra know they were jumping into this morass when they bought the project?

Now it’s time to keep on Senate to remove it, and be alert for the Conference Committee.

Here’s the contact info for all Senators, it will hit the floor sometime, either in SF 1431 or maybe even SF 2101:



1) We need to make sure that the Senate, THE WHOLE SENATE, knows that the special legislation for Geronimo in S.F. 1431, p. 34, lines 8-16, must be deleted when this comes to the floor in the Senate, if not before.  Check that bill carefully.

2) Also don’t try to sneak it in like they did in the House:

3) They also need to know that this special legislation for Geronimo must not appear in any other bill — don’t try to sneak it in somewhere else, and don’t forget to take it out, don’t try to drop it in during Conference Committee!  NO!  NO!  NO!

Contact each and every Senator and let them know “No special legislation for Geronimo” and that under Minn. Stat. 500.30, wind easement contracts now terminate after 7 years — do not attempt to change this 7 year limit for existing contracts between landowners and the wind developer/owner.  This change would be for the benefit of the Black Oak/Getty wind project(s) and to the detriment of the landowners.




Doesn’t this guy ever quit?  New legislation with new option, wanting to change the law to allow a “biomass” plant on the Mesaba Project site.  WHAT?  Aren’t they paying attention to the Laurentian Energy Authority’s unworkable “biomass” projects in Hibbing and Virginia, the “biomass” plants that don’t have enough feedstock and so are burning coal?  Did they forget that the MPCA has only issued one woody biomass permit, for Laurentian (Hibbing and Virginia) and that that permit was violated, so extremely that the MPCA issued fines and reworked the permit?

LEGALECTRIC POST: Laurentian “biomass” Air Permit Draft (second time around)

LEGALECTRIC POST: “Biomass” violates air permit – fines likely


Thanks to a little birdie for the heads up on this.


Here’s the change, hidden in Senate File 2101:

2101Today, say NO to lines 191.4 – 191.19 of Senate File 2101.


Quick comments — this project is bizarre, a private project proposed on request of DOE (with applicant ringleader a former DOE employee) that has no demonstrable need.  ???

Overland Comment 4-20-2015

Here’s the link for the DEIS, from their site:

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project (DOE/EIS–0486; Draft EIS) is now available

I do hope the DOE will explain how they intend to review this under Section 1222… it’s all too bizarre for words!