November 21st, 2011
Yes, it’s true, the cow is out of the barn – and the National Park Service says that the “No Action Alternative” is the best alternative for the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line. Can you hear PSEG and PPL squealing???
Big thanks to Scott Olson for the heads up, and this link:
The bottom line, from page 16 of the pdf below, page vii of the actual document:
ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE
The environmentally preferred alternative is the alternative that would promote the requirements of the
national environmental policy expressed in section 101(b) of NEPA. It is the alternative that causes the
least damage to the biological and physical environment and that best protects, preserves, and enhances historic, cultural, and natural resources (CEQ 1981, Q6a). Alternative 1, the no-action alternative, was selected as the environmentally preferred alternative by the NPS. This decision was based on the available scientific data about the proposal and mitigation measures presented by the applicant and collected by NPS. An analysis of this data made it clear that alternative 1 best meets the requirements of the environmentally preferred alternative.
Really, that’s what it says… wow… I’ve never seen that before in a DEIS. You can see for yourself here, again, p. 16 of the pdf, page vii of the actual document:
SRLine DEIS Volume 1, Front Matter, Chapters 1 and 2 (8.2 MB, PDF file)
Here’s the NPS page with the whole thing:
Comments are due by 11:59 p.m. January 31, 2012:National Park Service Susquehanna to Roseland 500 kV Transmission Line Right of Way and Special Use Permit Draft Environmental Impact Statement
From the site, there are three public “meetings” scheduled where you can make comments in person:
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
(snow date 1/31)
Fernwood Hotel and Resort
U.S. 209 Bushkill, PA 18324
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
(snow date 2/1)
Stroudsmoor Country Inn – Ridgecrest
RD#4 Stroudsmoor Road Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Thursday, January 26, 2012
(snow date 2/2)
Farmstead Golf and Country Club
88 Lawrence Road
Lafayette, NJ 07848
Comments are due by 11:59 p.m. January 31, 2012. If you are unable to attend the public meetings, please submit your comments by January 31, 2012 via the internet at http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/DEWA or by mail to address below (there are two addresses below – best send to BOTH!):
John J. Donahue, Superintendent
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area &
Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River
HQ River Road, off Rt. 209 Bushkill, PA 18324
andPamela Underhill, Superintendent
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
P.O. Box 50 Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Or by filing it at this site:
Comments are due by 11:59 p.m. January 31, 2012
November 17th, 2011
O… M… D!
Gov. Mark Dayton has done it again, apparently looking to leave a legacy of being one of the most environmentally harmful Governors in Minnesota history.
What’s this all about? Well, for example, first there was his roll and cave on MPCA and DNR permitting, “streamlining” or gutting, as the case may be, beating the Republicans and their legislative agenda to the punch:
And then adding insult to injury:
Now, by Executive Order, he does it again, this time to the EQB:
Check it out:
By November 15, 2012, the EQB shall evaluate and make recommendations on how to improve environmental review, given the changes made in Chapter 4, House File 1, and the recommendations contained in the Office of the Legislative Auditor Environmental Review and Permitting Report.
Here’s Chapter 4, House File 1.
And now for the Office of the Legislative Auditor Environmental Review and Permitting Report:
November 13th, 2011
The oh-too-cozy connections in Minnesota are pushing my buttons today. Wind on the Wires’ death-of-wind-as-we-know-it comments to the Public Utilities Commission arguing a “this will affect all of Minnesota” were given way too much weight for an entity that wasn’t even a party, and given their tight and close connections to the Dept. of Commerce Energy Division head, it seemed undue influence. But it got worse today… and suddenly, HOG PILE, lots of things came to light.
So what else happened? Well, it’s a full moon. I was looking for a document in my Goodhue Wind Truth file and my cursor passed over a WOW filing, Comments they’d filed in the record that I’d downloaded and filed with the rest, and as my cursor passed over it it said and I cursed:
Author: Alan Mitchell
Say what?!?!?! Alan Mitchell, author of Wind on the Wires filings?
So I open it up and check the document properties directly, and sure enough, it says “Author: Alan Mitchell.” Open it up and see for yourself:
Who is Alan Mitchell and why should anyone care if he authored comments?
Alan Mitchell is an attorney working on energy issues — he worked as the Asst. A.G. on utility siting at the EQB forever, during Nuclear Daze, I almost thumped him on the head when he made a DUH! admission we’d been fighting about for years. He was there (Dwight Wagenius too) during Arrowhead and Chisago transmission, and retired I think in the Pawlenty administration exodous, around 2006? and went to Lindquist & Vennum, to work on energy issues, and then jumped to Fredrickson & Byron, at the same time Todd Guerrero did.
And there’s the rub.
Todd Guerrero represents AWA Goodhue Wind (community based wind my ass — can anyone spell “T. Boone Pickens” the owner of this project? Last I checked, Anywhere Texas is NOT in Minnesota) in the AWA Goodhue Wind fracas at the Public Utilities Commission and Appellate Court. To check those AWA Goodhue Wind dockets go to www.puc.state.mn.us, click on the blue “Search eDockets” button, and search for dockets 08-1233 (siting), 09-1186 (Certificate of Need) and 09-1349 and 09-1350 (PPAs).
Todd representing AWA Goodhue and Alan for Wind on the Wires. It’s too close folks — have you checked your “conflicts” file? Oh, yes, that’s right, it’s not a conflict because their positions are in alignment, AWA Goodhue Wind and Wind on the Wires are both promoting this project, DUH! So having Alan and Todd working on this together, well, it’s not a conflict, it’s not scumbaggery, it’s economies of scale, eh? It’s something that we should know when presented with Wind on the Wires filngs, and their failure to disclose is something I’ll be mindful of, it shows their spots, not that the Commission give a rodent’s rump.
Not to worry, WOW has other pigs it’s also rolling around in the mud with. There’s the matter of Bill Grant, former head of Izaak Walton League, who was appointed by Gov. Dayton to be the Deputy Commissioner of the Dept. of Commerce’s Energy Division and the Facilities Permitting shop. And after all, Wind on the Wires is separate, eh? Well, sort of, but wait, take a look at the first IRS 990 filing by WOW:
Look closely, and take note that this IRS 990 was filed on November 12, 2010. REMEMBER THAT DATE! Just for yucks, let’s take a look. The IRS 990 claims income of and assets of:
$ 706,500 Contributions and grants
$ 201,524 Cash
$ 505,000 Pledges and grants receivable
118 Prepaid expense and deferred charge
And expenses? Put on your seat belt:
Here is their lobbying report from Wisconsin — and then there’s Minnesota to consider too:
And here’s the snippet from the Walton’s 990 reporting that expense:
Let’s see if I understand this — Izaak Walton League is reporting it as an expense on their IRS 990 and not registering with the state, and Wind on the Wires is registering their lobbyists with Wisconsin but reports nothing on their IRS 990. OK, now for a closer look at that below!
Onward with the WOW 2009 IRS 990. WOW says that 2009 was a “transitional year” and that:
Uh-huh… right. “Majority of activity” with over $600k in expenses while at the Waltons, and $3 in expenses independently. Uh-huh… uh-huh… As for $$$$, “The $423,442 capital contribution to Wind on the Wires is the IWLA’s “Project” net assets at the end of 2009.” $432.442…
Sure, OK, let’s see what the Walton’s IRS 990 says about that. Hmmmm, nothing about going independent, and this was filed August 27, 2010, almost 9 months after 2009 ended, you’d think they’d know what happened in 2009:
And remember that Wind on the Wires claim of a “contribution of $423,442? Here’s it’s $431,942:
The Waltons had $8,500 more at year end, and more importantly, as of the Walton’s 8/27/2010 “year end” filing of their 2009 IRS 990, it was owed to WOW, it wasn’t outgoing money — it hadn’t been paid as of their year end…
We’re in a time warp here.
OK, now for Waltons’ lobbying — their 990 reports $102,000 lobbying expenses in Wisconsin, via Lee Cullen of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach:
And who else does Lee Cullen lobby for? Let’s see… In addition to “Wind on the Wires” (and remember, prior to the 2010 filing, the 2009 501(c)(3) status and independent filing, it was but a program of the Izaak Walton League) Lee Cullen lobbied for Citizens Utility Board in past years, and while representing the Waltons… errrrrr… Wind on the Wires, throughout 2007 to the present session, he also represented RENEW Wisconsin and ATC Management, LLC … ATC Management, LLC? You mean ATC? ATC?!?!?! Yes, that’s right, AMERICAN TRANSMISSION COMPANY.
Oh, it’s getting too cozy in here… but as above, there’s no conflict, nosiree, no conflict at all, because WOW is in bed with American Transmission Company, their interests are the same, there’s no conflict!
Anyway, back to the date of the Wind on the Wires IRS 990 — it was filed November 12, 2010, just a week after the election, the election where a governor was just elected who shortly thereafter appointed the Walton’s Bill Grant, head of the Midwest Izaak Walton League, to be the Deputy Commissioner of Commerce, Energy Division, in charge of energy facility permitting. Uh-huh…
And then there’s that WOW Board of Directors. More on that tomorrow or Tuesday, but for sure before November 17, 2011, when Howard “The Slow” of ELPC hosts another bogus “Transmission Strategy” meeting. I wonder who’s paying for that?!?!
November 3rd, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
(not to be heard before 10:00 a.m.)
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
3rd Floor Large Hearing Room
121 – 7th Place East
St. Paul, Minnesota
Here are the ones that I filed for Goodhue Wind Truth:
Just out are the:
November 1st, 2011
YES! The Appellate Court agreed with us in the AWA Goodhue (T. Boone Pickens) appeal! The appeals have been dismissed as premature, that we can/should file AFTER the Public Utilities Commission decides on the several pending Motions for Reconsideration. We have been invited to file again, with no additional filing fees. GOOD. That’s a reasonable decision and we’re not out the filing fees (I’d asked the Court for costs, out of the PUC’s hide, but this is sufficient).
Reconsideration Motions will be heard on November 10, 2011, not before 10:00 a.m. at the Public Utilities Commission, 121 – 7th Place East (3rd Floor Large Hearing Room), St. Paul, MN 55101.
This Appellate Court Order is a good outcome, the court agreeing that the PUC’s position that we had to appeal by September 22, 2011 or lose our opportunity to appeal was not grounded in law.
Here’s the choice nugget:
The general provisions of chapter 14 do not supersede more specific provisions governing appeals from the public utilities commission. In re Complaint Against N. States Power Co., 447 N.W.2d 614, 615 (Minn. App. 1989), review denied (Minn. Dec. 15, 1989). The more specific provision controls. Id.
DUH!!! SNORT!!!! And the entire Order, hot off the press:
It all stemmed from this MemoranDUMB issued by the PUC that was something I’ve never seen the likes of:
Guess they won’t be doing that again, will they!!!