PatMichelettiXplntFair Use from STrib

In today’s STrib:

Micheletti recovering from transplant after brother donates kidney

Says he was in severe pain and thought he had hip issues… whoa… and then went to Mayo to get checked out:

Doctors believe Pat Micheletti’s kidneys were failing because of years of taking the over-the-counter pain reliever, Motrin (ibuprofen), to deal with discomfort stemming from his hockey-playing career. Alex said his dad plans to start making hockey players aware of the dangers of taking too much ibuprofen.

I’ve not dealt with Pat since Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project days, what a protracted sticky and very painful mess that was.  He’s probably very glad to be out of that… I remember when he was caught in the midst of an ex parte contact blitz:

Excelsior’s indirect ex parte contact

July 26th, 2007

I will never forget the packed standing-room-only hearing in Taconite when one of the public commenters drifted up the aisle in flowing clothing and brought a sculpture/collage/birdcage(?) as an exhibit to present to the judge, representing the Mesaba Project and what it meant to her, the devastation it would create, and she said she made it especially for Pat (it might have been his birthday that evening).  He was sitting near the back, on the center aisle, head in hands, shaking his head in disbelief at this odd presentation.  The judge was visibly afraid/concerned, he held his hands up, “stay back” or some such, did not want her to approach with that “exhibit.”  It was one of the most hilarious parts of that long mess.

FlightPath

Recently, I’ve received USFWS responses to our FOIA Requests regarding the Black Oak and Getty wind projects, and there’s a LOT, and I don’t think that it’s made its way into either the Certificate of Need or Siting dockets at the Public Utilities Commission.

To see the PUC Dockets GO HERE TO PUC SEARCH PAGE and then search for dockets 11-471 (CoN), and 10-1240 and 11-831 (siting).

Here’s what we’ve received — it’s not uploading easily, so there’s some duplication and some may not all be included, and I’ll be working on getting this posted today:

Hogeboom_FOIA Cover

5 U.S.C. § 552

43 CFR Part 2 Subpart F (handling conf info)

BlackOakGettyWindDraftAvianReportInitialCommentMemo110902

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Getty_Black Oak Wind Recent

DNR Letter_Maps

DNR-CommentsBlackOakWindFarmDraftSitePermit110422

DNR-CommentsGettyWindDraftSitePermit_DraftABPP-120404

Getty Black Oak Acoustic Report – DNR Comments

Getty Windfarm Early Coordination Response (2)

DNR-CommentsBlackOak-GettyPermitAmendment140929

FWS-2015-00281 C_Overland Partial Release2

Black Oak and Getty Wind Farm Draft ABPP – USFWS Review Comment Letter1

Black Oak ECP General Comments Black Oak Getty Model Information

Black Oak survey points

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Response Letter 3-26-2010 (2)

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Response Letter 3-26-2010

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Review Response Letter (2)

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Review Response Letter

Black Oak Wind Farm Eagle Minutes Black Oak Wind Steinhauer Tails 2009

FA 0145 Black Oak-Getty Agenda 8-30-11 (2)

BOGY_BatStudy_Hamer_12172012

Davis to Jennings Dewild et al Getty Wind 2010 FA 0068

Davis to Smith Geronimo Black Oak 2009 FA 0145

Davis to Steinhauer – Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866

WS-11-831 Davis to Steinhauer MN Commerce Energy Security

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Odell

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak ECP Comments

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty eagle minutes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty shapefiles

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Survey points map

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – Catching Up

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – ECP

USFWS Comments – Black Oak and Getty Wind Draft ABPP

RE_ model question5

RVSmry RE_ model question4

RE_ model question3

RE_ model question2

_ RE_ model question5

_ New modeling data

Rescheduled_ Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects (Aug 31 10_00 AM CDT in _COMM_Conference Room 636)

Re_ model question

Re_ Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866_WS-11-831

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak Eagle Nest

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak Eagle Ne2

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak Eagle Ne

Re_ Geronimo Black Oak and Getty Wind Farm Bald Eagle Discussion

Re_ FW_ Black Oak Wind Farm-Ste

Re_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report1

RE_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report

Re_ Black Oak_Paynesville Follow Up

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Projects – Data and Model Exchange3

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Projects – Data and Model Exchange1

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Projects – Data and Model Exchange

Re_ Black Oak_Getty Eagle use survey protocol

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change3

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change2

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change1

RE_ Black Oak_Getty Avian Report — potential meeting change

RE_ Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects

RE_ Accepted_ Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects

PUC Docket Number_ IP-6866_WS-11-831 – Getty Wind Project Comments

PREDICTING EAGLE COLLISION FATALITIES

Paynesville Follo

Letter from Rich Davis, USFWS, re Black Oak Wind Farm Site Permit App Review

Getty Eagle use Getty Avian Maps

Geronimo Black Oak Wildlife Discussion1 Geronimo Black Oak Wildlife Discussion

Geronimo Black Oak and Getty Wind Farm Bald Eagle

Fw_ Getty Wind

FW_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report3

FW_ Black Oak Wind Farm-Stearns

FatalFcns

DNR Initial Comments Memo – Black Oak_Getty Wind Draft Avian Report

DistFcns

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Getty Wind

Meeting Summary

CollisionModel

CollisionFatalityModel_RCodeOverview

CMDataTemplate Black Oak_Getty Wind Avian meeting rescheduled

Black Oak_Getty Agenda for 8-30-11 meeting

Black Oak Wind Farm, Stearns County Black Oak and Getty Bat Study

Black Oak Wind Farm – USFWS Review Response Letter3

Black Oak – Getty Wind ABPP USFWS Comments

Avian Report for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects

USFWS Meeting Agenda

Triggers for AM at Windfarms_June 18_2014 (1)

template for collision risk model_MR_June18

template for collision risk model

Stearns bird list

Fig1_EaglePreConstructionSurvey

Email17_attachment1 EFP_Memo_ABPP_2-27-12

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance – Meeting Agenda

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – quick R question

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Meeting in January 2014 for Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Invitation_ Black Oak chat @ Wed Jul 2, 2014 10am – 11am (margaret_rheude@fws

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Ingrid Schwingler has shared the folder ‘BOGY Information for USFWS’ with you

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Fwd_ Cause of Action FOIA (FWS-2014-01383) – Files Uploaded

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – FW_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Final Black Oak and Getty Wind Meeting Notes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Draft Regional Eagle meeting notes, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – bogy

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Project

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Model Runs from July 2

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Eagle Conservation Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – BOGY ECP

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm data

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm and Getty Wind Project Eagle Monitoring Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – ECP

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – Catching Up

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Survey points map

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty shapefiles

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty eagle minutes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak ECP Comments

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Odell Davis to Steinhauer MN Commerce Energy Securit

Davis to Steinhauer – Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866 WS-11-831

Davis to Smith Geronimo Black Oak 2009 FA 0145

Davis to Jennings Dewild et al Getty Wind 2010 FA 0068

BOGY_BatStudy_Hamer_12172012

Meeting_Agenda_Geronimo_BlackOak_20110111 (2)

GOEA vs BAEA for Stearns Getty Tech Rep Memo

FWSModelCode_v4.1_README (1)

Fig1_EaglePreConstructionSurvey

Email17_attachment1

EFP_Memo_ABPP_2-27-12

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – RE_ Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance – Meeting Agenda

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – quick R question

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Meeting in January 2014 for Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Invitation_ Black Oak chat @ Wed Jul 2, 2014 10am – 11am (margaret_rheude@fws

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Ingrid Schwingler has shared the folder ‘BOGY Information for USFWS’ with you

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Fwd_ Cause of Action FOIA (FWS-2014-01383) – Files Uploaded

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – FW_ DNR Comments on Black Oak _ Getty WInd Bat Acoustic Report

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Final Black Oak and Getty Wind Meeting Notes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Draft Regional Eagle meeting notes, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – bogy

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Project

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Wind Farm and ECP Guidance

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Model Runs from July 2

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak_Getty Eagle Conservation Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – BOGY ECP DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm data

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind Farm and Getty Wind Project Eagle Monitoring Plan

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – ECP

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Wind – Catching Up

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Survey points map

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty shapefiles

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak Getty eagle minutes

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak ECP Comments

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Mail – Black Oak and Odell Davis to Steinhauer MN Commerce Energy Securit Davis to Steinhauer – Getty Wind Project Site Permit Application IP6866 WS-11-831

Davis to Smith Geronimo Black Oak 2009 FA 0145

Davis to Jennings Dewild et al Getty Wind 2010 FA 0068

BOGY_BatStudy_Hamer_12172012 Steans Co Wind Farm  Jennisson nest map  Flight path  BOGY turbines Black Oak-Getty Agenda 8-30-11 (2) modeling question4 attachmentRplot

 

BOGY turbines  MID

micheletti_1_mpr082216

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

DOH!

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

littlebirdie3

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

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

IRRRB

Big thanks to Citizens Against the Mesaba Project for the heads up!

Minnesota’s legislative auditor will investigate IRRRB _ Duluth News Tribune

This specifically includes the $9.5 to Excelsior Energy and its Mesaba Project:

snippet

$9.5 was loaned, but as of 2008, with interest, that number was up to over $14 million, per the Legislative Audit report of 2008 (full report below):

Here’s an overview from CAMP:

CAMP UPDATE _ Mesaba Energy Project _ Excelsior Energy

Here’s the 2008 Legislative Auditor Report_IRR Loans to Excelsior Energy

And on this site, also posted in 2008:

Excelsior Energy under the auditor’s microscope

Here are some of the pertinent documents from that round — Read it and see for yourself. Anyway, mncoalgasplant.com wanted to dig around in the IRR’s records, so we started in filing this and that…

Subpoena Request IRR September 7, 2006

Or was it a Data Practices Act request?

IRRB Data Practices Act Request

Letter to IRRRB June 19, 2006

Letter to IRRRB July 26, 2006

All of the above!

We got quite a bit of information, and here’s Ron Gustafson’s spreadsheet, it may not be all inclusive, but some choice tidbits are there:

IRR Receipts – Final Review

The IRRRB’s handling of money, particularly handing it over to Excelsior Energy a/k/a Tom Micheletti and Julie Jorgensen, was appalling, and it’s about time this got another review.  The Mesaba Project was one of the most obvious and disturbing examples of special legislation ever, from the legislatively granted perks like a mandate of Power Purchase Agreement, to eminent domain for a private company, to the Renewable Development Funds to the IRRRB money, pouring money down the rathole.

What were theys thinking?  And what was the pay-off?  The pay-off to Xcel Energy was that they got to keep their Prairie Island nuclear plant going.  What was the pay-off to legislators who agreed to this?  What was the pay-off to the “environmental” groups, particularly Bill Grant, then Izaak Walton League, who Tom Micheletti furiously accosted after the deal was temporarily stopped, yelling, “WE HAD A DEAL!!!  BUT WE HAD A DEAL!!!”  What did Bill Grant’s organization and its supporters get?

the problems with SF 1735…

March 18th, 2015

Minnesota_State_Capitol

Please say no to S.F. 1735, a bill that would result in removal of the regulatory protections for rate-payers and the public, and let utilities have the ability to charge us for private costs, and costs that have not been demonstrated to be prudent expenditures.

Little by little, Xcel Energy’s e21 Initiative is slithering into bills before the House and Senate Energy Committees.

Before anyone can vote on these bills, they should read Alfred Kahn’s “The Economics of Regulation,” both Volume 1 and Volume 2.

What’s e21 Initiative?  Here’s what Xcel filed at PUC, docket 14-1055:

Letter & e21 Initiative Report

Tomorrow, S.F. 1735 (see companion HF 1315)and S.F. 1431 are in Committee, and they’re supposed to vote on the Energy Ominous bill.

What’s up with S.F. 1735?  Well, check out this version, with yellow highlighting (and this is NOT all-inclusive):

SF 1735-1_Markup

SF 1735doesn’t have the part about “Competitive Rate for Energy-Intensive Trade-Exposed Electric Utility Customer” part that HF 1315 does, though we’ll see what the mines and Koch Refinery have to say about that when the Energy Ominous bill comes together and everyone has their hand out and foot in the door.

SF 1735 is a problem because… where to start…  the first problem is that it proposes, as Xcel does in e21, a BUSINESS PLAN which “replaces a general rate case filing,” REPLACES!  The standard it must meet is that it result in “just and reasonable rates,” and there’s nothing about “prudent” and there’s nothing about being in the public interest.  DOH!

And dig how it would be approved — they SHALL approve:

SF1735-approval

Stakeholder group… right, we know who that is, and we sure know who that isn’t!  And that’s the e21 Initiative mantra, stakeholders, and from who was included in e21, we know who would be deemed a stakeholder — all those who have done deals with Xcel Energy!  Oh, and DOH, they want approvals at the PUC based on “Settlement Agreements.”  Right, like the one that opened the door and welcomed CapX 2020 transmission, and that horriffic “it’s a deal, it’s a package deal, and it’s a good deal” of the 2005 Ch 97 – Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell with Xcel transmission perks, CWIP and C-BED :

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 02-2152 ME3 Waltons MCEA NAWO

PUC decision based on “stakeholders” and deals with Xcel Energy?  No, I think not.

Per the House hearing on HF 341 (see also S.F. 237), Minnesota should now be an electricity exporter, which is one between-the-lines goal of e21 Initiative, the others being ability to build without demonstrating need, to use ratepayer money for market development, to eliminate contested cases and use “Settlement Agreements,” which they’ve done expertly in the past.  Exporting for profit is doable, now that we have the transmission in place.  It would help Xcel Energy to just get rid of that Certificate of Need requirement, which HF 341 would do for natural gas plants of any size, i.e., 800 MW (like the LS Power Sunrise Station proposed for Chisago County, Lent Township) if it’s for sale into the MISO market.  As you know, also up for consideration is SF 306 & 536, HF 338, which would lift the nuclear prohibition and allow a CoN for Monticello or anywhere.  There’s no need, instead there’s excess generation, but that electricity could also go into the market, and with Construction Work in Progress, Minn. Stat. 216B.16, Subd. 6a, we ratepayers could pay for that private market activity.  NO.  NO.  NO.

NO!

The situation we’re in is NOT new to Xcel or any other utility.

  • Distribution system is utility responsibility as franchise holder and regulated utility, but they’ve neglected the distribution system over decades.  They have chosen not to upgrade and not to bring it into the 21st Century.  That neglect is not ours to correct.  Xcel has twice tried to invade and inflict communities with transmission when they had identified a distribution system deficit — Hiawatha and Hollydale.  NO!
  • Transmission deficit a decade ago was caused by putting so many IPP gas plants on line without requiring transmission upgrades.  This is reflected in the TLTG tables for the SW MN 345 kV line, PUC Docket 01-1958.  It also became an issue when Big Stone II was proposed because at that time it was “cause cost pays” and they hadn’t been charging gas plants but were going to charge BSII for interconnection costs, and BSII objected (see “standstill agreement” and withdrawal of Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment from that project at Legalectric: Bill Gates & Otter Tail at the PUC Tuesday…).  That transmission CoN was denied, approved, and plant was withdrawn so non-issue.  Then utilities and paid-for-NGOs went to MISO and FERC to find a way to spread the payment of transmission construction costs around, which they did.  The ones building it are not necessarily the ones paying for it, and it’s us ratepayers paying for transmission construction all around the country (See Schedule 26A, MISO Tariff, also Tariff MM) and the PUC has yet to address whether that should be paid for by us — but wait, it’s FERC rates, so the PUC has no say… well, that MISO MVP bill hasn’t come before the PUC yet, and that’s the last thing Xcel wants.  That capital cost is for private purpose transmission (market transactions) and as such, it is not ours to pay.
  • Generation changed decades ago too, moving away from utility construction and ownership, collect revenue for that, and now it’s morphed to an IPP (Independent Power Producer) mode where a third party takes on risk and cost of construction and sells power to utilities.  It’s been that way for decades.  Xcel has done some coal plant update, and nuclear update/uprate (grossly over budget by factor of 2+), but no new plants.  This shift from that regulated revenue stream was a business choice of utilities, but now they’re looking to make up that revenue that they don’t get for building the plants.  That business choice is not ours to “fix.”
  • Rates — Utilities want out of rate cases!  Of course they’d want that, Xcel has lost ground in their rate demands the last few rounds.  A Business Plan is not adequate, however, they need to prove up their expenditures if they expect us to pay them, and we should not, must not, be assessed for their market private purpose expenses, like transmission for export.  The bills for CapX 2020 ($2 billion) and for MISO MVP projects ($5.2 billion across Midwest) are the types of large expenses that they do not want to have to justify.  Not wanting to go through a rate case is no reason for us to let go of that protective review, or to let them charge us for things that are not public purpose expenditures necessitated by their obligation to provide universal service under their franchise.
  • Deregulation — this “e21 Initiative” looks and feels like the 2000 deregulation push to me, particularly with all the support from “environmental” and “advocacy” organizations, well funded, and funded I believe by Xcel and cronies (and that information should be made public).  Utilities wanted deregulation (back when Enron and Xcel’s NRG was making 300% profits screwing over California in an orchestrated rate skyrocket) and at that time, Xcel had all the “environmental” organizations behind it as “inevitable restructuring.”  Everyone was jumping on the deregulation bandwagon, all bozos on that bus, and that’s how this e21 feels.  Lots of people agreeing without knowing what they’re talking about, without understanding the consequences.  Back in that earlier deregulation push, the utilities also had everyone on board to pay them “stranded costs” for their large generating plants. Thankfully the A.G. stood up to that pointing out that deregulation is a disaster where ever it goes, and that the claimed “stranded costs” were really stranded assets, and if anyone owed anyone money, the utilities owed us for their assets that were paid for and fully depreciated.  Read Corneli on Stranded Assets.

This is not new to utilities.  It is not our job to correct their business plan errors, to pay for their neglect, or to finance their market activities.

More on this soon… but the short version, NO to SF 1735.  NO to SF 1431.

NO! NO! NO!

It’s not in the public interest.

And by the way, the “WE NEED MORE” histrionic mantra that you year year after year is false.  Excess generation?  Yes — here’s the peak demand that Xcel Energy has reported on its SEC 10-K filings since 1995:

Xcel_Demand

Also from the 2014 SEC 10-K link:

Demand2

The question to ask is “What’s stopping utilities?”  And it’s not our regulatory system.  It’s that utilities are looking for additional ways to transfer their costs to ratepayers without regulatory review.