More on the special legislation for Black Oak and Getty Wind Projects!

Remember that hard-to-believe Senate Energy Committee meeting a couple weeks ago?

Bill to extend Getty/Black Oak wind contracts?

It’s an amendment to the Senate Ominous Energy bill to extend the term of wind rights contracts.  What they’ve decided can’t be done in the contracts (DOH — is there a reason they’re having trouble?), they’ve decided to do unilaterally, legislatively, in special legislation incorporated into the Senate Energy Ominous Bill, S.F. 1431 (1st Engrossment):

A12 Amendment SF1431

Here’s the audio of the Committee meeting:

Play Audio   Download Audio (04:31:52) Part 2

It’s been getting some attention, and not the kind of attention they want… GOOD!

Contract extension could leave landowners flapping in the breeze

And, oh, there she goes again:

“This is a really poor way to do policy,” said Carol Overland, an attorney who has represented residents opposed to Black Oak. “… It’s crafted in such a way that they don’t name it. Therefore, they would say it’s not special legislation. But it is designed only for this project.”

I just happened to be at that hearing, objecting to the e21 Initiative language in S.F. 1735 which was to have been incorporated into the Energy Ominous Bill… and heard this and other amendments that were shocking!  Had I not been there, who would have noticed this special legislation?  Thing is, “special legislation” happens in Minnesota all the time, particularly on energy issues, just look at all the utility personal property tax exemptions, and at all the bills framed around Xcel Energy, f/k/a Northern States Power.  Special legislation shouldn’t be happening, but nobody seems to care.  They pretend that because it isn’t named in the bill, it’s not “special legislation.”  We know better.  And Sen. Weber, in introducing this A-12 amendment for Black Oak Getty Wind, specifically said that it was for the “Black Oak Getty Wind Project” which is what got my attention.  And the article quotes some of what he said (why not the part using the words “Black Oak Getty Wind Project”).

“The project is in its early stages of construction. However, it will not be completed by the time the seven-year period expires,” Weber said in the hearing. “The purpose of this amendment is to thereby extend that seven-year period by one year to an eight-year period. The amendment is very specific as to the description of the project and it is this project.”

Yes, this is special legislation, and it’s not OK.

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