This Clean Air Act lawsuit took 10 years to get to this initial decision, but here we are, with an order to shut down coal plants, to shut them down in September, 2009, and not wait until their planned retirement in 2012.

Here’s the decision:

US v Cinergy, US District Court, Southern District of Indiana

And here’s an article about it:

Duke Energy Ordered to Shut Indiana Coal-Fired Units (Update2)

By Andrew M. Harris

May 29 (Bloomberg) — Cinergy Corp., now part of Duke Energy Corp., was ordered by a U.S. judge to shut three units of an Indiana power plant for federal Clean Air Act violations incurred during renovations more than 17 years ago.

U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney in Indianapolis issued the directive today, ending the second phase of a 2008 trial at which a jury found Cinergy modified the coal-fired facilities without installing best-available pollution controls.

Citing increased sulfur dioxide emissions from the units, McKinney’s 58-page ruling ordered them shut no later than Sept. 30.
Read the rest of this entry »


Yes, Tom Micheletti and Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project had another rough time at the Public Utilities Commission yesterday.  The PUC was deciding on Excelsior’s Motions for Reconsideration in “Phase II” of the proceedings:

Excelsior’s Motion to Suspend, for Reconsideration etc etc etc

Staff Briefing Papers – 5-28-09

It was fast, the tone seemed to say that the PUC had had enough of it, and wanted to be done.  Deny, deny, deny, the end.

So, now what?  I don’t know, because Charlotte Neigh, of Citizens Against the Mesaba Project, had inquired with Richard Hargis, of the DOE, as to the status of the EIS in the siting docket, scheduled to be released in June (yeah, right, as if…).  He said:

Ms. Neigh,

I don’t think this affects the issuance of the FEIS.

Richard Hargis

Huh… so now what?  Haven’t a clue.  My client,, was an intervenor in this case, beginning nearly five years ago.  Will this thing end some time in my lifetime?  I’m starting to wonder…

fredonschool Fredon School

Dig this:

“Visual simulation” of what towers will look like compared with present strutures

The Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line through Pennsylvania and New Jersey is getting a little hairier, YEAAAAA.  Fredon PALS, a group centered around the Fredon School, which is facing transmission lines over its property(school, above), sent their first Discovery over the bow today.  It’s good stuff, I love it when this happens.

Fredon PALS – First Set of Discovery Requests to PSE&G

Until now, we’d been the only Intervenors who’d sent PSE&G any Discovery, Stop the Lines, that is, and with this filing today, Welcome to the Club, Fredon PALS!!!

Here we go again!


Once more with feeling, Xcel’s Chisago transmission project rears its ugly head.  This time, Xcel, f/k/a NSP, has violated the terms of the agreement between itself and the cities of Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls.  It centers on the location of the end of the undergrounding near the St. Croix River.  Xcel is coming up quite a bit sooner than their specific agreement says they would, and Taylors Falls is not happy.  St. Croix Falls has joined in on their objection.  They’ve been going back and forth about this for a while, and now Taylors Falls has asked the PUC to amend the permit.

Notice of Permit Amendment Request & Comment Period

Taylors Falls & St Croix Falls Permit Amendment Request

And they’re soliciting Public Comments!  From the Notice:

The permit amendment request is scheduled to be heard at the Commission’s June 11, 2009, Agenda Meeting. The Commission is providing until June 02, 2009, for interested persons to comment on the issue. Please submit comments to be received before 4:30 p.m. on that date to:

David Birkholz, Project Manager
Office of Energy Security
85 7th Place E, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101-2198

or by email:  <>

Attached to the Notice are the rules regarding amendments, and notice is to be provided to the project list.  I haven’t received it.  Hmmmmmmm… and I’ve even been to the P.O. Box lately!

Something else — on April 14, 2009, Burl Haar at the PUC signed a letter saying that Xcel had filed their Plan and they were in compliance with the permit.  That’s April 14, and attached is a memo from David Birkholz, MOES staff, dated April 10, 2009.

It looks to me like they weren’t reading my blog dated April 4, 2009:

Xcel — Undergrounding in Taylors Falls

“In compliance” my fat ass…

This was an issue in March, with correspondence dating from mid-March, and we know there was a lot of fighting going on before that.  So the MOES memo says they’re in compliance with the permit…

Hello – the agreement?  That was Exhibit 218, entered by moi into the record, offered and accepted in Transcript Vol. 1B, pages 82-83.

Deal – NSP – Taylors Falls – St. Croix Falls

This bru-ha-ha was brewing before Xcel submitted its “compliance filing,” and before Birkholz and Harr signed the “go ahead” approval.  So either David Birkholz, MOES and Burl Haar, PUC are sleeping at the switch, or Xcel made a material omission in its filings, or more likely, BOTH!  But hey, what’s an agreement between the state’s largest utility and two Minnesota cities?


Yes, that’s the Prairie Island plant back behind Ken’s rump!

Comments are due on the big picture for the Prairie Island power uprate and siting of more dry casks. yes, the notice says today:

Public Meeting Notice & Comment Deadline

And it says:

Deadline for written public comments to the Administrative Law Judge on the Certificate of Need (CON) and Site Permit applications must be received by May 25, 2009.

And here’s what the hearing and what comments should address:

Purpose of Hearing. The purpose of the public hearing is to compile the record for the Commission to consider in making a final decision on the CON and the Site Permit requests. The ALJ will write a report and make a recommendation to the Commission on (1) the need for the extended power uprate (EPU) project, (2) the need for the Additional Dry Cask Storage project, and (3) on site selection, including any appropriate site permit conditions. The Commission will make a final decision on the need and site permit at a subsequent Commission hearing. The Commission must issue a Certificate of Need prior to issuing a Site Permit.