May 3rd, 2016
WOW… can you believe?? It’s not just me, it’s not just denial of Intervention of No CapX 2020. See 20162-118122-01_Denial2_Overland-NoCapX Intervention.
This is the most recent Order in the Xcel Energy Rate Case:
Here are their Intervention Petitions:
To see the full Rate Case docket, go to the PUC’s Search Documents page, and search for Docket 15-826.
And the Order… Dig this, parroting Xcel’s objections:
And this, even worse, as if the interests of the “Clean Energy Organizations” who bought into, stumped for, and sat quietly during the legislative hearings about Xcel Energy‘s e21 Initiative are the same as the interests of SunShare and Institute for Local Self-Reliance – ILSR:
This is SO offensive. There is no consideration that the perspectives are different, only statements that the issues, the concerns, are the same.
The late, great Myer Shark, rate case Intervenor extraordinaire, would spin in his grave at the limitations of participation in this rate case.
April 20th, 2016
Yesterday, Alan and I were in Hastings, and we were talking about the extreme pollution of 3M, and of DuPont in Delaware. In Flint, it appears that it’s being taken seriously, though these first three charged may just be the sacrificial offerings:
In Michigan, the dominos are starting to fall. Susan Hedman, former head of EPA Region 5, did the right thing, and quickly, but since then? Well, now the criminal charges have begun:
From the article:
Glasgow is accused of tampering with evidence when he allegedly changed testing results to show there was less lead in city water than there actually was. He is also charged with willful neglect of office.
Prysby and Busch are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, a treatment violation of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act and a monitoring violation of the Safe Drinking Water.
I would hope they’ll go deeper and that more will be charged.
It’s different in Minnesota. 3M knew enough to stop manufacturing PFOA, but it was dumped and made its way into our water, there’s a lawsuit initiated by our Minnesota Attorney General, but no criminal charges:
A few snippets from the above article:
State Attorney General Lori Swanson first filed the lawsuit against 3M on behalf of the people of Minnesota in 2010, claiming that the company polluted more than 100 square miles of groundwater near its plant in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, as well as four aquifers serving as drinking water for some 125,000 people in the Twin Cities. The suit charges that the company piped PFC-polluted wastewater into a stream that flows into the Mississippi River and disposed of it on land near the river, which allowed it to leach into the river.
… and (the red links are to EPA testing):
After the initial discovery of PFCs in drinking water near the Cottage Grove plant, 3M installed filtration systems on the water supply for the nearby community of Oakdale, provided bottled water for residents with private wells, and remediated three of its former dump sites. However, the most recent water tests, released by the EPA in January, still showed 25 detections of PFCs in wells that provide drinking water to Woodbury, Oakdale, and Hastings — all of which are near 3M headquarters — as well as in the Cottage Grove water utility, which serves more than 33,000 people.
In two wells in Oakdale, PFOS contamination detected by EPA tests released in January exceeded the provisional health levels set by the agency. And several Oakdale wells had PFOA levels higher than those that qualified residents to participate in a class-action suit against DuPont in West Virginia and Ohio.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has a page on this, where dangers are minimized, and where not much has been posted past 2009 (note landowners with wells have to pay over $300 for testing their water!):
Why has no one been charged at 3M? Why is this surface and ground water pollution not front and center?
What about the bad water in Pennsylvania from fracking, Dimock, PA comes to mind, and that was public knowledge over 7 years ago:
And remember that National Geographic article with astonishing photos way back in 2007 about the poisoned and dry wells in Wyoming? That was a decade ago. What’s been done?
April 5th, 2016
April 4th, 2016
This is about Jamar Clark. It is also about such basic rights, right to life, and Constitutional rights. It’s also about our obligation and responsibility to stand up when there is no justice. As an attorney sworn to uphold the Constitution, it’s important to loudly object. I’m not a criminal attorney, and I’ve had very little experience in criminal law, long ago, but this case stinks of _________ (corruption? fear? obligation? indebtedness?).
Hot off the press:
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman decided, against evidence, that he would not charge officers involved in the killing of Jamar Clark with any crime.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, reconsider!
The federal review of this case is not complete, and there may be federal charges. But that potential does not relieve Freeman of his responsibility as prosecutor. If he’s not up for the job, he should appoint a special prosecutor for this case, and to review every case of a killing by a police officer.
Freeman was praised for his decision not to refer this case to a Grand Jury, which notoriously fail to charge police officers, this case and all such cases going forward. But in this case, could it have been more of an issue that given the evidence different than his recitation, the very different story than the one he told, that a Grand Jury may have charged the officers?!?! We’ll never know.
Evidence that conflicts with his recitation? Here’s what was released and posted as evidence (but it’s NOT all inclusive):
A number of issues come up that individually or combined call Freeman’s decision of NO charges whatsoever into question.
This STrib headline and article reveals both Freeman’s defensiveness and one reason his decision makes no sense:
The police have training, experience, and equipment to handle people, and yet in this case, they didn’t even have tasers? They threw him down in an admittedly “not favored” move? And then one officer shot him point blank in the head, his weapon not firing the first time…
All along, Clark has been presented as a domestic abuser (as if that provides justification for officers to kill him?), yet the report of the “victim” reveals she is not a “victim” of domestic assault and has come out publicly now stating this in televised interviews. It looks as though her statement to the police has been suppressed.
At issue also is Jamar Clark’s behavior, where initially it was said that he was interfering with treatment of Hayes. That’s not how Freeman reported it at the press conference, where he said more than once that Clark was “tapping” on the ambulance doors. Hayes’ statement reports conversation going on in the ambulance where those treating her were pushing the “domestic assault” version, which she states at the time she denied and corrected.
A claim by the police shooter that he was afraid doesn’t seem credible in the situation as facts unfold.
This does not add up, and it does not add up to “no charges.” Freeman should take this up again in light of the exposed conflicts between evidence he relied on, and other evidence that was not posted on the County Attorney website above.
Why is Jamar Clark’s 2015 “Fleeing Case” information posted on that site? That’s an inflammatory choice on Freeman’s part. There is no legitimate reason to post it, it is not relevant to this decision. The “Fleeing Case” can only be being brought in to bolster public opinion of Freeman’s support of the officers’ behavior — if he has a record, then he deserves to be shot. NO, not acceptable. And by the way, “fleeing” is not an aggressive act. Hennepin County, remove that 2015 “Fleeing Case” information from the page.
Why aren’t the prior Complaints against the two officers, Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg, also posted?
What will the civil suit look like on this? I’d guess the result would be very different, and unfortunately, it looks like it will take a civil suit to get some justice for Jamar.
Attorney Jordan Kushner had some thoughts he put out on the Mpls. yak-yak list that I’m attaching below. This is his area of law, he is an attorney fiercely dedicated to protecting our civil rights (and now is faced, perversely, with charges himself after being arrested at the U of M for filming the police). I met Kushner decades ago when a number of us were defending the Crandon 29, where 29 protestors of the proposed mine in Crandon, Wisconsin, were arrested (my two clients were arrested for “blocking the highway” despite the video of the protest which showed clearly that my clients were on the sidewalk or next to the curb in the street, and there were police cars blocking the highway!!) and the trial was a circus, literally “three rings” with defendants from three locations and fact situations all in court at once. Kushner was one of the defense attorneys for the RNC 8, and he was designated “The pro for the protesters” by the STrib.
Here’s what Kushner had to say about the Jamar Clark case and Freeman’s non-decision, most importantly about the role of a prosecutor, which Freeman did not fulfill:
I have not yet had a chance to carefully review the materials on the police killing of Jamar Clark to be able to pretend to render an informed opinion about whether the police should be prosecuted. I can say with certainty that Mike Freeman’s presentation of the evidence makes it clear that justice has NOT been done. Freeman did not play the role of a public prosecutor. He acted as a defense attorney for the two police officers, and a PR advocate for the police position in general. The normal role of a prosecutor would be to first consider the evidence supporting the victim, then examine the evidence supporting the suspects, and then consider whether all of the available evidence justified bringing charges. Freeman set forth all of the evidence that he had in favor of the police, assumed it to be true, and ignored or dismissed arguments – including many obvious ones, that challenged the police accounts. He also summarily dismissed all of the eyewitness accounts that disputed the police story on the grounds they were “contradictory.” It is common for eyewitness accounts to be contradictory to some degree, but that rarely stops prosecutions from going forward. In a typical case, a prosecutor would begin by considering eyewitness accounts supporting prosecution and looking for ways they could be corroborated. There is no indication that Freeman made any attempt to support they eyewitness accounts. Definitely, Freeman’s office regularly pursues prosecutions with eyewitness accounts that are as or more contradictory, and in weaker cases. But here Freeman did not play his typical role as prosecutor but assumed the role as advocate for the police.
Freeman does deserve some credit for taking direct responsibility and accountability for the decision not to prosecute, and abandoning the time honored practice of hiding behind a grand
jury. (I posted commentary on the grand jury sham on this list a few years ago after the last high profile Minneapolis police killing of an unarmed young African American man –
http://forums.e-democracy.org/…/topic/13KH7mtNjlyCwAkoUpqHiY ) Thanks to Freeman’s willingness to own and explain his decision, the public can be informed about where the County Attorney really stands. We learn clearly how it is inevitable that a prosecutor who works with police on a daily basis and is politically accountable to police interests probably more than any other group, will not seriously act as a prosecutor when it comes to reviewing possibly criminal actions of police officers. This leads to the next necessary demand that such cases not be reviewed and prosecuted by regular prosecutors, and particularly political and police hacks. Police killings need to be reviewed and pursued by independent “special” prosecutors who do not normally work with police or are politically tied to police interests. A special prosecutor needs to be appointed to review Jamar Clark’s case and future police killings.
February 21st, 2016
Remember Xcel’s CapX 2020 peak demand projections of 2.49% annual increase? How wrong can they be? And how unjustified was their basis for a Certificate of Need for CapX 2020? And how are they held accountable for those gross misrepresentations? This is why the rate case in progress, PUC Docket 15-826, is so important.
I love it when this happens… Xcel Peak Demand is again DOWN! There’s a trend, and it’s called decreased demand. Demand has yet to exceed the 2007 peak, and now it’s 8 years…
Here’s the Xcel Energy SEC 10-K filed a couple days ago:
Is it any wonder they want to get away from a cost based rate a la their “e21 Initiative” scheme? Particularly now that the bill for CapX 2020 is coming due and their newest rate case (PUC Docket GR-15-826) is now underway?
And the specifics, and note how they inexplicably forecast a 2016 peak of 9,327: