Whew, leave town and look what happens…

Recommendation to PUC – AWA Goodhue Wind docket

What sticks in my craw is this — if the law were unambiguous we would not be here today in this contested case:


And it’s that paragraph 43 and 44 that is particularly obtuse, because from here it looks as though that MOES Affidavit filed, to which GWT objected and about which GWT filed Subpoena Request, which were DENIED:

MOES Comments – Affidavit of Ingrid Bjorklund

MOES Comments – Affidavit of Deb Pile

Goodhue Wind Truth – Subpoena Requests for Bjorklund and Bull

ALJ Sheehy’s Letter to Overland – Denial of Subpoena Requests

Were it unambiguous, we wouldn’t be in this contested case, and she wouldn’t be going through this elaborate dance to get to “it’s unambiguous.”

If it walks like an ambiguous, if talks like an ambiguous, it’s ambiguous…

Oh, and here’s another bizarre part, claiming that there are state standards in existence for 12 years:


Uh-huh… right…

On with Dayton’s tax plan!

April 25th, 2011


Doggin’ the rich!  Good idea…

Dayton to Eliminate Surcharge, Restore Promise on Top-Tax Rate; Restore Funding for Seniors’ Long-term Care

And you know how everyone says, “OH, NO… CAN’T DO THAT, the rich will flee the state,” which we all know is a crock.

Tax Fairness Is Simply Fair from Growth & Justice

From the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue:

Minnesota 2011 Tax Incidence Study

Here’s a take on that from the voice of money, the Wall Street Journal:

“This suggests that the policy effect is close to zero,” the study says.


Millionaire Tax Didn’t Chase the Rich From New Jersey, Study Says

By Robert Frank

Anti-tax advocates contend that higher taxes on the wealthy lead to millionaire flight. They say this has been seen in Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. The rich are mobile, they say. They can take their money, taxes and jobs wherever they are treated best.

But a new study focusing on New Jersey provides some of the most detailed evidence yet that so-called millionaire taxes have little effect on the movements of millionaires as a whole.

The study, by sociologists Cristobal Young at Stanford and  Charles Varner at Princeton, studied the migration patterns of New Jersey’s millionaires before and after 2004, when the state imposed a “millionaire’s tax” that raised rates on those earning $500,000 or more to 8.97% from 6.37%.

The study found that the overall population of millionaires increased during the tax period. Some millionaires moved out, of course. But they were more than offset by the creation of new millionaires.

The study dug deeper to figure out whether the millionaires who were moving out did so because of the tax. As a control group, they used New Jersey residents who earned $200,000 to $500,000–in other words, high-earners who weren’t subject to the tax. They found that the rate of out-migration among millionaires was in line with and rate of out-migration of submillionaires.  The tax rate, they concluded, had no measurable impact.

“This suggests that the policy effect is close to zero,” the study says.

Of course, not all millionaires are the same, and some are more likely to leave than others. The study found that New Jersey millionaires over the age of 65 and who live off their investments are the most likely to leave. Among those who earned their money  from investments, the tax raised migration rates by 27 people per thousand among the top 0.1% of earners.

Yet those who own their own businesses or earn their money in New York–groups that account for a large share of millionaires in New Jersey–are less likely to leave.

The study also found that New Jersey millionaire-earners are an ever-changing group, with people constantly moving on and off the top rung of the income ladder. Since there is no permanent top-earning class, the occasional top earners have less incentive to leave because of the tax.

“In summary, the new tax did not appreciably increase out-migration,” the study concluded.

Have you ever moved to avoid higher state taxes?

Clark County, WA & biomass

April 23rd, 2011


Clark County is headed down the wrong path… burning “biomass” in the wrong-headed notion that it’s G-R-E-E-N, with little regard for the toxic emissions that will spew from this plant, and it’s “carbon neutral” NOT!  Recently, somebody from Clark County was searching for “Rockford MN biomass” and ended up on my site, which is a good thing, because then at least they might get some reality about what’s proposed.

They’re looking at a district heating project similar to the Midtown Burner (Midtown Eco-Crapper) proposed for Phillips, in Minneapolis, and thankfully it was run out of town, developers then tried for the City of Rockford, MN, and it was run out of town, and then the township of Rockford, and it’s history there too!

As with the Midtown burner, this Vancouver biomass plant is proposed for the middle of Vancouver — the worst place possible for projects like this that will spew emissions!

Spew emissions?  HUH?  Well DUH, and here’s Alan Muller’s presentation on the Midtown burner:

Saying NO! to permits for Midtown Eco-Energy

What do the Clark County biomass project promoters say?

But Candee Hatch, an air quality consultant with Lake Oswego-based Bridgewater Group who was a consultant on the study, said opposition to such a facility is likely colored by what older, dirtier biomass plants looked like.

“Technology-wise, these facilities are not like they used to be 20 years ago, and a lot of the perception about what wood-burning is comes from what we used to do,” she said. “Those facilities don’t look like that anymore.”

Oh, please…  show us your emissions, Candee!!!

Here are some specifics about annual emissions from a recent similar biomass district heat project:





… and the Clark Count proposal?  Here’s some info:

Clark County District Heating (biomass project) page

Here’s the fuel study, where they claim to have enough fuel:

Fuel Study – January 2011

What’s missing is specifics on emissions — come on, folks, out with it!!!

And an article from The Oregonian:

Clark County commissioners give downtown Vancouver biomass plant a green light

Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 2:28 PM
This concept drawing shows the site of a proposed downtown biomass plant from the intersection of West 13th Street and Ingalls Street facing southeast. The building at left is the Clark County Public Service Center.

Clark County will move ahead with its plan for a wood-burning heating and cooling plant in downtown Vancouver by seeking a private-sector partner and land-use permits from the city.

Read the rest of this entry »

Are they frackin’ insane?

April 21st, 2011


There was a meeting at the Red Wing library Monday night about the rumored fracking sand mine south of Re d Wing, and just north of Hay Creek.  By the time the meeting was underway, it was standing room only.

The article from the Red Wing Republican Beagle is down below.


Here’s a post with some details of this project to be:

No frackin’ way!!!

Goodhue County’s Article 14 covers mining, but so far it’s been aggregate, and not silica, and it’s a different process, whole different sort of mining, so my thought is that Article 14 needs some amendments.  A ordinance change application is just $500 and some work to draft language…

Here’s a map — the site is on the left, and the transfer station in Florence Twp. is on the right, a railroad spur west of Hwy 61 near Hanson’s Harbor:


Citizens turn out in large numbers against possible Goodhue County sand mine

By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle

Keith Fossen speaks to more than 100 citizens at the “Stop the Silica Sand Mine” meeting held Monday night at the Red Wing Public Library.

“We were so afraid. We thought, we hope we get at least 10 people,” said Kathleen Bibus, one of the organizers of Monday’s “Stop the Silica Sand Mine” meeting.

They got their 10 people – 10 times over.

More than 100 citizens filled a Red Wing Public Library meeting room to learn what they can do about preventing silica sand from being mined across 155 acres in Hay Creek Township just two miles south of Red Wing.

Windsor Permian, part of the Oklahoma-based Windsor Energy, bought the land for $2.6 million earlier this year, and although it’s unknown what the company will do with the land, many citizens fear it will be used to mine silica sand.

Silica sand, as opposed to normal sand, is worth about $1,400 per ton.

Windsor Permian has already drilled exploratory wells, which can be done without a permit, but the company has not turned in any kind of application to Goodhue County for a permit allowing the mining of silica sand.

Goodhue County Land Use Management Director Lisa Hanni said that without having received an application, the county does not know many details about Windsor Permian’s plans.

“Let’s be realistic though, nobody pays $2.6 million for topsoil,” said Goodhue County Commissioner Jim Bryant, who helped answer questions from the public at the meeting. He lives in Hay Creek Township.

Citizens have the same mindset and are anticipating the company will apply for a permit to start mining.

If an application is turned in, the county is bound by state statute to make a decision about the permit within 60 days, unless an environmental assessment worksheet is needed. An EAW will be necessary if the aggregate mining operation is expected to exceed 40 acres in size to a mean depth of 10 feet.

One of the concerns citizens at the meeting raised was whether the sand mine would impact the groundwater and affect Hay Creek.

The public also asked if a permit is allowed with certain conditions listed, who would enforce them? For example, if an aggregate tax is required, Windsor Permian would have to report exactly how much sand it is taking out, but citizens at the meeting seemed hesitant to believe the required reporting would be enforced.

If and when a completed application from Windsor Permian is turned in, the Goodhue County Planning Commission will hold a hearing for anyone to come and voice more concerns.

For more info on the other end of the process, what they use the sand for (fracking) and to learn about what they’re doing with proppants:

Damascus Citizens.org


STOP FRACKING NOW! (problem with site?)

In the New York Times (very interesting to learn that instant coffee is used!!!):

Millions of Gallons of Hazardous Chemicals Injected Into Wells

And here’s how bad it’s gotten in Pennsylvania:

PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contamination Drinking Water


Looks like Scott Neal is already trying to rein in (reign in?) the people of Edina.  He’s just started as City Manager there after going to Eden Prairie after Northfield.  His suggestion?  Have the public comments to the City Council AFTER the meeting and OFF CAMERA and that would also be OFF THE RECORD because I doubt they’ve got a court reporter there…  Scott, this is NOT a good idea, because in many ways, Edina is doing a good job of running the city, they’re a first ring suburb with little land available, and have done a good job with their Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.  What’s made that happen is the vigorous and “robust” (sorry, borrowing that from Xcel) open public debate about issues and permits.  The attempt to quash that is a major gaffe.  No, Scott, NO!

In Edina, they like to speak their mind, and on TV

And Scott writes about it on his Edina blog:

Public Comment

The comments on his blog are off!  Oh, come on now… you can have it on, and moderate!

And then there’s his suggestion that they say the Pledge of Allegiance before the meetings.  As an Officer of the Court sworn to uphold the Constitution, and fighting every day for our fundamental rights, until we have “liberty and justice for all” it’s a farce…