coalcreekdistant_smThat’s the Coal Creek plant, a photo I took on a tour.  If you’re an electric co-op member in Minnesota (elsewhere too?), they offer tours regularly, and it’s something you should do!  Check your co-op’s newsletter for info.

State Register Notice:

MPCA_StateRegister_Pages from 40_05

Just released FEDERAL Clean Power Plan:

Clean Power Plan Final Rule (PDF)(1560 pp, 3.3 MB, About PDF) – August 2015

Look at how the “adjusted” Minnesota’s baseline levels due to Sherco 3 being out for nearly 2 years:

The EPA examined units nationwide with 2012 outages to determine where an individual unit-level outage might yield a significant difference in state goal computation. When applying this test to all of the units informing the computation of the BSER, emission performance rates, and statewide goals, the EPA determined that the only unit with a 2012 outage that 1) decreased its output relative to preceding and subsequent years by 75 percent or more (signifying an outage), and 2) could potentially impact the state’s goal as it constituted more than 10 percent of the state’s generation was the Sherburne County Unit 3 in Minnesota.  The EPA therefore adjusted this state’s baseline coal steam generation upwards to reflect a more representative year for the state in which this 900 MW unit operates.

Clean Power Plan Final Rule (PDF p. 796 of 1560).

And from the state, which acknowledges imminent release of FEDERAL Clean Power Plan Final Rule , also released today, just in from the MPCA (direct quote):

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued a request for comments on possible rule amendments to bring Minnesota into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan. You can read the full request in the August 3, 2015, edition of the State Register, available at www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore/mnbookstore.asp?page=register.

The amendments we are considering will help Minnesota meet standards established by the Clean Power Plan, which sets state-specific carbon dioxide emission targets and requires each state to submit a plan detailing its strategy for meeting the targets. As of State Register press time, we have not yet started drafting a plan because the EPA has not yet published the standards that Minnesota’s plan will need to meet, so the MPCA requests public input to help guide our considerations of methods for meeting the EPA’s targets, as well as any other objectives that the state’s plan might include.

Stakeholder meeting agendas, notes, and other related documents are posted on the website for this rulemaking at www.pca.state.mn.us/w9y3awr.

To access information about a particular Minnesota rulemaking, visit the Public Rulemaking Docket.

 

DNR Logo

Today in the inbox, this DNR Comment on the Chapter 7829 Rulemaking appeared:

DNR 7829 Comment_20157-112548-01

Here’s the juicy part:

DNR

DOH!  Brilliant!  So I quick wrote this up and filed a few minutes ago:

Overland 7829 Comments July 2015

Agencies have contributed so much when they show up, and now the DNR and DOT do show up and it’s so much appreciated!  How can building the record and getting their comments in be anything but good!  Let’s do it!!  Let’s establish a distinct status for state agencies to participate in Public Utility Commission dockets!

 

The Politics of Rage

July 11th, 2015

Politics of Rage_Carter

My latest book arrived today, put Little Sadie in the house when mailman arrived, had to sign for something else and didn’t want her to sink her teeth into him.  Anyway, it’s Dan T. Carter’s “The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics.  Someone posted an article recently that referenced it, and it seemed so fitting. You can order it HERE at www.abebooks.com!

I remember George Wallace and his runs for President, though I don’t remember his inauguration rallying cry when first Governor, much written by KKK wordsmith Ace Carter, “Segregation now… segregation tomorrow… segregation forever.”  I also remember clearly, and remember my distrust, as Wallace claimed to own the errors of his racist past and beliefs.  Still skeptical… but I’m reading this to get a better handle on white supremacy in the U.S., how it’s morphed over the years, and how it’s all connected.  This rage that I see so often, I don’t get it, didn’t then, don’t now, and I’m seeing it in people near and far, such visceral rage, and I just can’t understand the origin.  But in just the first 41 pages, I see it’s the same framing.  George Wallace did indeed tap into fears, tensions, hostility and hate, rewrapped it over time, and shaped the rhetoric of open and of submerged racism that’s still used today.

AlbertLea_HartlandFireTruck                                      Photo by Linda Wallace

The Hartland firefighter who put the Stars & Bars battleflag on the city fire truck for the Albert Lea parade has been suspended.   He seems to be starting to figure out that he didn’t think it through.  As a condition of keeping his job, he should have to do some homework and write about Minnesota participation in the Civil War and the meanings of the use of that flag from the 1940s to the present, to be published as Commentary in the Albert Lea Tribune.

The parade organizer still refuses to take any responsibility.

It’s hit TIME Magazine:

Firefighter Suspended for Flying Confederate Flag During Parade

From KMSP:

Firefighter suspended for flying Confederate flag at parade in Albert Lea, Minn.

In the Albert Lea Tribune:

Hartland firefighter suspended after flying Confederate flag in parade

So it’s the 4th of July, and yesterday in Albert Lea’s parade, a Hartland Fire Department truck is displaying the Confederate battle flag.  Yes, really.  A publicly owned City of Hartland truck, a public employee, in Minnesota… speechless…

Many people get the origin of this flag confused, it’s not an official state flag or a “Confederate” flag, but is a battle flag of Virginia.  More disturbing is that most people don’t know of the history of use of this flag in the 1940s and on to the present as a symbol of resistance/opposition to integration.  This symbolism is what I object to, the way it’s been used as a symbol of suppression and hate, often under color of law, such as use by Gov. George Wallace when he fought integration of his state’s schools.  People here in the North are particularly ignorant of the history of this flag.  I see it often as a bumper sticker, as a decal on a truck window, or big truck grills and mudflaps.

How many thousands of people attended this parade?  Yet this happened… no one stood up… no one stopped it… silence… The silence of people in Albert Lea on Friday watching this is worse than the display, it is through silence that some of the most horrific behavior in human history has occurred.  The Hartland Fire Department and City which allowed this use on its City equipment should be held accountable.  And then there’s the guy who put it there, Brian Nielsen — what message is he delivering to his daughter, his daughter’s friend, and his niece?  The organizer, per the STrib, “chuckled a bit.”

From MPR: Southern Minnesota fire department takes a stand for the Confederacy

In the STrib: Firetruck flies Confederate flag  alongside stars and stripes in holiday parade

Parade rules distributed to entrants say “all vehicles … must be decorated in either a patriotic theme or according to the parade theme.” This year’s theme: “Teaming Up for America.”

Kehr chuckled a bit and acknowledged that the Hartland firetruck was “probably not” in compliance.

“chuckled a bit” — very funny…

And the Washington Times: Minnesota firefighter flies Confederate flag in parade

And the first article from the Albert Lea paper:

A Confederate flag was flown on the back of the Hartland Fire Department's truck during the Third of July Parade. — Provided

Confederate flag flown at Third of July Parade

Published 1:34pm Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Confederate flag flown on the back of the Hartland Fire Department truck during the Third of July Parade sparked conversation in the community and on social media.

Brian Nielsen, who drove the truck with his wife, daughter, his daughter’s friend and his niece, said he has been on the department for about 10 years.

“It’s not that I’m up for the rebel or the slavery part of it, “ Nielsen said. “It’s history. They’re trying to take this flag away. They’re basically trying to change the history and abolish it and get rid of it.”

The comments come about two weeks after nine people were killed on June 17 at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. Authorities said the accused gunman had posed in photographs with the Confederate battle flag.

The shooting has sparked debate across the country about the role of the Confederate flag, and the South Carolina Legislature is slated to vote about whether to remove the flag from the Statehouse grounds. Walmart has announced it is removing any items from its store and website that feature the flag.

“Even the Minnesota flag, they want to change that,” Nielsen said. “Where does it end?”

Nielsen said he wasn’t looking to get a lot of attention from his decision to fly the flag, and he didn’t think it would spur as much discussion as it has. He, himself, has a family member who is black, he said.

He had the Confederate flag on one side of the back end of the truck, while the U.S. flag was on the other.

He noted he saw two or three other Confederate flags along the parade route.

Nielsen said he talked with a few of the other firefighters on the department, and they supported him standing up for his rights. Another fire department in the county approached him as well saying they had considered doing the same thing.

Here’s another photo, this one by Laura Walker:AlbertLea_HartlandFireTruck

From Ryan Ruud who took this in Erhard, MN on July 4th:

ErhardMN_RyanRuud