Sen. Kevin Dahle has introduced SF 183, a bill that addresses the problems landowners are encountering with our good friends at Xcel Energy when they attempt to elect the “Buy the Farm” option.  See Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4.  Buy the Farm gives landowners the option of requiring condemnation of their entire parcel, which means they can get out from under the transmission line.  Xcel Energy, on the other hand, is doing everything it can to prevent landowners from electing Buy the Farm (click here for prior “Buy the Farm” posts).

SF 183 – Buy the Farm

I’d guess that Rep. David Bly will introduce this on the House side.  Keep your eyes open.

Next steps – first email Sen. Kevin Dahle with a BIG thank you!

Then send emails and call the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it’s been sent for its first committee hearing — there’s only 8 members so it won’t take long:


Then contact your own state Senator and Representative and let them know SF 183 Buy the Farm needs their support.

Will keep you posted on other Buy the Farm developments.  This bill is a good start to the 2013 session!

eagles-rwvisitorconventionbureauPhoto from Red Wing Visitor and Convention Bureau – for more, go HERE!

Beginning TOMORROW, the DNR is hosting a series of hearing on rulemaking to amend Rules Relating to Engangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species, Minn. R. 6134.0170, 6134.0200, 6134.0300, and 6134.0400.

DNR Rulemaking Notice

DNR Rulemaking Page – includes proposed rules

One by one, the rules at issue per the DNR:

Minn. R. 6134.0170 (DOES NOT EXIST?!?!)

Minn. R. 6134.0200

Minn. R. 6134.0300

Minn. R. 6134.0400

The hearings are beginning tomorrow evening in Rochester:

Yes, bald eagles are on this list, as are loggerhead shrike and trumpeter swans, all at issue in the Goodhue Wind project.  It seems to me that Golden Eagles ought to be acknowledged and added, they’ve been sighted in the area as well, and no take permits are allowed by USFWS.

CLICK HERE for some comments they received recently.

PUC Rules Comments due Tomorrow

January 23rd, 2013


Comments due TOMORROW!!!  If you want to be a part of the Rulemaking Advisory Committee, this is the time to let them know that you want to be included.  After you’ve written your comments, file in PUC Docket 12-1246 or email to:

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has opened a docket for… get this:

Possible Amendments to Rules Governing Certificates of Need and Site and Route Permits for Large Electric Power Plants and High-Voltage Transmission Lines, Minnesota Rules, Chapters 7849 and 7850; and to Rules Governing Notice Plan Requirements for High-Voltage Transmission Lines, Minnesota Rules, part 7829.2550; Revisor’s ID Number R-04151; PUC Docket No. E,ET,IP-999/R-12-1246.

This is similar to the OAH “Possible” rulemaking, where they’re on a fishing expedition, for what I have not a clue, whether it’s to get ideas, or find out what not to include or identify the usual suspects, very hard to tell, and I couldn’t get any information out of Bret Eknes at the PPSA Annual Hearing.  The notice states “The Commission has not yet drafted the possible rule amendments.”

Here’s the notice — note they do say that part of this is to “maximize citizen participation” so let’s hold them to it:

Request for Comments – “Possible” Amendments to Rules PUC Docket 12-1246

Possible?  Ummmmm, right… well, it’s about time. Here’s the PUC’s Rulemaking site (you can also go to eDockets, search for 12-1246):

I’d put in a rulemaking Petition two years ago tomorrow…

Overland Petition 2010 PPSA Annual Hearing, filed January 2011

…and they said they wanted it broken down.  OK, sure, whatever, so I did.  Thus far I’ve filed the OAH ones, and haven’t gotten around to doing that yet.  SO, got to work today and ground out these comments based on the previously filed ones, you can use these for ideas, steal away!

NoCapX & U-CAN Comments – Jan 23, 2013

Once more with feeling, they’re due tomorrow.

Gov. Dayton’s budget proposal

January 22nd, 2013


Gov. Mark Dayton is a Shep nut… like some people I know… and I expect those shep sensibilities to extend to sensible policy proposals.  But part of his budget proposal is to CUT corporate taxes!  Yes, CUT corporate taxes.

Dayton having a conversation with Dakota and Mesabi, September 2010/Star Tribune file Dayton with Dakota, standing guard in September/Star Tribune file

Silly me…

Here’re his budget ideas, taken from the Minnesota Management & Budget Page:

FY 2014-15 Governor’s Budget Recommendation

Governor’s Presentation
MMB Presentation
Agency Level Narratives Including Governor’s Recommendations -January 22, 2013
Governor’s Budget Supporting Documents

Additional information on the components of the Governor’s FY 2014-15 budget can be found at

I have mixed feelings about sales tax on clothes, as they’re regressive, even if starting at $100.  In December, I bought Alan a pair of Red Wing shoes from the sale bin, and they were over $100.  And then there the tax on services… MPR called it a “business to business” sales tax, but I need to find the details on what’s proposed.

MSBA says there would be these increases in the budget for the justice system, and looking at it, I can see “jobs jobs jobs” and some much needed funding in each area:

· Civil Legal Services: +4.5%

· Board of Public Defense: +6.5%

· Supreme Court: +4.3%

· Court of Appeals: +5.9%

· Trial Courts: +6.2%

· Tax Court: +19.5%

· Guardian Ad Litem Board: +4.3%

· Judicial Standards Board: +33%

· Human Rights Department: +4.1%

One very good addition is a 22% increase in the MPCA budget! Good!  This is the only agency I’ve seen argue in a rulemaking that a high threshold for enforcement should be adopted because they don’t have funds to regulate.  Give me a break!

There’s NO ENTRY WHATSOEVER for Environmental Quality Board.

Tell the Governor what you think – CLICK HERE FOR CONTACT FORM

Better arrange for our grrrrrrrrrls to have a chat with him!


Cut corporate taxes?  The idea is a turkey.

Comments Due on USFWS Comments!

January 17th, 2013


There was a Comment period on New Era Wind Project f/k/a AWA Goodhue Wind Project f/k/a Goodhue Wind Project’s second Avian and Bat Protection Plan.  The Comment Period was to end the 15th, two days ago.  Then Commerce asked for an Extension to comment on the USFWS review of the monitoring and that review wasn’t coming in until January 15th.  Great… no time to review.  So yes, extend, that makes sense.  Well, the extension they asked for was just until today, January 17th, and that’s what was granted.  But the USFWS review wasn’t eFiled until yesterday.  So we get one day.  And now here it is after 2:00 p.m.  Too much going on…

Here’s the report:

US Fish and Wildlife Service – ABPP and monitoring comments

If you have comments on these, send to… oh great, here what they say:

Filing Requirements: Utilities, telecommunications carriers, official parties, and state agencies are required to file documents using the Commission’s electronic filing system (eFiling). All parties, participants and interested persons are encouraged to use eFiling.

So, to sign up for eFiling, go here and submit your comments:

eFiling Registration – it’s QUICK and it’s EASY!