Plains&Eastern

YES!!!  On to federal court!!!  I love it when this happens!  Downwind and Golden Bridge have sued the Department of Energy (DOE) and Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA)!  Here’s a copy of the Complaint, give it a read:

Downwind, LLC & GoldenBridge LLC-v-DOE & SWPA – Case 3:16-cv-00207

Here’s the bottom line, what they’re asking for:

123

It’s focused on the DOE and Clean Line’s most vulnerable issues, those of improper potential use of eminent domain for private purpose and private company, and, as David Ulery says:

“Landowners were never offered an appropriate avenue for due process during the DOE’s review of Clean Line’s application,” he said. “An opportunity to comment is not the same as an opportunity to directly participate in the matter in an official capacity. Review is meaningless if those most affected are not given ample and significant opportunity to engage on a meaningful and substantive level.”

Clean Line and the DOE were asked, demanded, expected, to provide due process, and nope, nada, not the most basic opportunities to participate.  Seems they’ve never heard of due process — how dare they!  From June, 2015, here are multiple filings demanding due process:

BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line docket filings

Here’s the first of articles to appear about the federal suit:

Opponents sue to block Clean Line project

By John LyonArkansas News Bureaujlyon@arkansasnews.com

LITTLE ROCK — Opponents of a planned transmission line across Arkansas and parts of Oklahoma and Tennessee said Friday they have filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the U.S. Department of Energy’s participation in the project.

Golden Bridge and Downwind, two organizations representing landowners who oppose the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project, said they filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. The suit was not available on the court’s website Monday evening, and the groups did not immediately provide a copy to the Arkansas News Bureau.

According to a news release, the suit challenges the legality of the Department of Energy’s decision to participate in the project under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act, which allows the agency to partner with private companies on some energy infrastructure projects.

“While understanding the importance of infrastructure in the production, transmission and distribution of electrical energy, the landowner-managed organization is concerned with the federal government’s legal authority, and the scope and manner of its proposed participation in transmission projects pursuant to Section 1222,” Downwind said in the release.

“There are lingering doubts about the substance and merits of the department’s determination in this project, with particular concern relating to the potential use of federal eminent domain to condemn private property for the benefit of a private, for-profit company,” the organization said.

The suit also alleges that landowners should have had more ability to participate in the department’s review of the application for the project by Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston, according to Dave Ulery of Golden Bridge.

“Landowners were never offered an appropriate avenue for due process during the DOE’s review of Clean Line’s application,” he said. “An opportunity to comment is not the same as an opportunity to directly participate in the matter in an official capacity. Review is meaningless if those most affected are not given ample and significant opportunity to engage on a meaningful and substantive level.”

Clean Line Energy Partners Executive Vice President Mario Hurtado said Monday he had not seen the suit and could not comment on it specifically.

Hurtado said in a statement, “It’s no secret that the United States suffers from an infrastructure deficit and that we must push through gridlock to move the country forward. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see legal complaints filed against the most important infrastructure projects. In order to modernize the grid, enable the delivery of low-cost energy, create new jobs and enhance our energy security, the private and public sectors must come together to bring new infrastructure projects to fruition.”

The $2 billion transmission line is expected to transmit 4,000 megawatts of wind energy from the Oklahoma panhandle to distribution centers in Arkansas and Tennessee, with Arkansas receiving 500 megawatts of that energy. Arkansas’ congressional delegation opposes the project, and Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, has filed a bill to kill it.

Womack’s bill cleared the House Natural Resources Committee in June.

snapshotprojectoverview

TexasStorm

Yesterday, the Illinois 3rd District Appellate Court said a resounding “NO!” to the Rock Island Clean Line (RICL).  Illinois Landowners Alliance challenged the PSC decision and WON!

Appellate Decision_8-10-2016_3150099

This court order reversed the Illinois PSC’s approval of the line, and directs the PSC to issue an order in line with the court’s decision.  Most important was that the court held that the PSC had erred in its determination that the RICL applicant was a utility!

Order3… and…

Order4Order5… and…

Order2… and…

Order1I love it when this happens!!!

Map

 

chickadees2Bird Clan

Chickadees, in Bird Clan, a print of oil by Daniel Milton HorseChief, are now framed and ready for its new home in my office, next to my inspirational Jerry Garcia “You can pursue that goal and feed the dog at the same time, it just takes a little extra effort” photo.  I haven’t had a splurge like this in a while, and it feels good!

HorseChief is both a painter and sculptor, living on the Oklahoma end of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project.

HorsechiefSculpture

HorseChief creates art based on Cherokee history, culture

Prints are available of his work, and he can be reached via facebook.

Horsechief-LittleBighornBattlefieldCuster’s Knoll, The Battle of the Little Bighorn 1976

GoingSnake'sTrailGoing Snake’s Trail

LonghairClan MotherLonghairClan Mother

 

Prairie Island nuclear plant

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:

Letter: Speak up at Xcel rate case hearing

To the Editor:

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.

We’re conserving – why should we pay more? Why are residential rates higher than large energy users?

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.

And that’s the rub. Transmission is not necessary to serve Xcel’s load in Minnesota — it’s transmission for market access — and we should not bear those costs.

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

Red Wing

Videos of Ken & Krie

July 23rd, 2016

Found some videos hiding of my dear departed Kenya and Krie, and I’ve posted here to archive:

MOV00315 – Chasing Wubbas at Frontenac Beach

MOV00314 – Krie heads to Wisconsin

MOV00312 – More Fetching Wubbas

MOV00166 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00165 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00164 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00163 – At Delaware City Park

MOV00162 – At Delaware City Park – check Ken running!

MOV00161 – At Delaware City Park – Look at them go!