July 24th, 2016
Wednesday, at 7 p.m. at SE Tech College in Red Wing, there’s a public hearing about the Xcel Energy rate case (PUC Docket 15-826 — to look at all the filings GO HERE TO PUC SEARCH PAGE and search for docket 15-826).
Here’s my LTE in the Red Wing Republican bEagle:
No one is excited about shelling out more money to Xcel, but the utility has requested an increase in rates, and it’s up to us to speak up. Xcel wants more money to cover the cost of transmission its been building and for upgrades to power plants. But there’s more to this story.
As Xcel’s Ben Fowkes notes, the industry has a “new normal.” Wholesale cost of electricity is down and holding. Fuel prices, the main variable cost, are low, whether coal or gas. Cost of energy via power purchase agreements is low. Cost of financing construction is also low. Xcel’s peak demand is down, 8,621 MW for 2015, from the 2006 all-time peak of 9,859. Xcel’s 2016 1Q energy sales are down 1.9 percent despite a 0.9 percent increase in customer growth.
Xcel’s rate case is transmission driven. Four CapX 2020 transmission lines in Minnesota cost $2+ billion. The MISO MVP 17 project portfolio of transmission across the Midwest will cost $5.24 billion-plus, of which we pay a share. This transmission moves electricity through Minnesota to points east, for the private purpose of market sales of electricity, from any point A to any point B in the eastern Interconnect.
Xcel worked hard to reach consensus with the usual rate case intervenors on its e21 Initiative, including a “Multi Year Rate Plan” based on its corporate business case rather than cost-based rates. Xcel worked hard to ram through e21’s legislation, with those usual suspects sitting quietly in committee as Senate and House toadies greased the skids. What’s in it for those who agreed? What about ratepayers?
Who is speaking for the ratepayers? The judge has rejected intervenors — some who would object to Xcel’s plans are shut out. AARP and the state’s Office of Attorney General-RUD are making a valiant effort, but your voice is needed. If you’re an Xcel ratepayer and are dubious of Xcel’s business plan, if you want Xcel to justify costs, if you want consideration of what costs are recoverable, if you want limitations on recovery for travel, lobbying expenses, or prohibition of market-based infrastructure and activities to sell electricity beyond Xcel’s service territory, here’s your chance.
I pushed for a hearing in Red Wing at the prehearing conference, and it’s next Wednesday: Xcel Rate Case Public Hearing, 7 p.m., Minnesota State College Southeast.
Carol A. Overland
July 23rd, 2016
Found some videos hiding of my dear departed Kenya and Krie, and I’ve posted here to archive:
June 12th, 2016
This is the worst hate crime in U.S. history.
And on the other side of the country today:
The spin of much of the reporting and comments focuses on the religion of the shooter, and that’s misplaced and deceptive. This is a hate crime. The shooter’s father has reported that his son was very upset over seeing two males kissing recently:
Many media outlets are reporting this with an anti-Muslim spin, which is off point. And those using this spin are avoiding the anti-gay aspect, and that’s off point too. But given the anti-gay hatred being spewed by so many “Christians” (C-I-N-Os in my view, there’s nothing Christian about hatred), it’s no surprise. Franklin Graham is a good example, and he’s coming soon to Minnesota:
There’s so much anti-GLBT vitriol, consider the bizarre “Bathroom Brigade Brouhaha” with laws passed and inciting weird incidents of people being tossed out of bathrooms across the country (shouldn’t the concern be about straight male pedophiles?), particularly where in this Minnesotan’s memory, it’s the Sen. Larry Craigs of the world that demonstrate bathroom issues!
Here’s the scoop on anti-gay hate crimes: FBI statistics in a 2014 report on 2013 hate crimes, as above, show that 21.3% of hate crimes (reported & deemed) are crimes based on the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of the victims. That’s 1,262 reported crimes identified as “hate crimes” in 2013. Looking for more current numbers…
On the other hand, this is what our country is about, an expression of American values, people lining up to donate blood:
Make America Love Again!
June 11th, 2016
Over 640 Xcel Energy customers (households, businesses) are without power here in Red Wing this morning after the storms came whipping through here yesterday afternoon. Ours was out for a while, maybe an hour, and then back on. Towards the west end of town, that’s another story, and they’re still without power.
From the map, it looks like Eau Claire was very hard hit, with 2,300+ customers still without power.
The Dogometer predicted a bad storm about half an hour before it hit, evident when she firmly assumed the position under my desk. Now she’s back to normal.